Are we all affected by dual-screen personality disorder?

Have you ever tried to read the comments that users leave on social media? As soon as somebody has an opinion on something, all the haters are coming out, like little gremlins, and they start typing with their little hands and leave the meanest comments ever.

When have we become so angry? Why all this negativity from real people? Life is supposed to be fun, and the World out there is so beautiful. So why do we always feel we can say anything online but then when it comes to real life interactions we all behave like vulnerable puppies? It’s like living a second life, we put on the Dr. Jekyll hat when we are physically in social environments and we switch to the Mr. Hyde when we are behind our phone screens.

This is a huge psychological problem and we could stay here for a decade and not crack it. However, studies show that 1 out of 2 people in the World are introvert and uncomfortable when exposed to human stimuli. And somehow, when we talk to users online, we leave comments and we interact with them, we do not use our voice, but we use our keyboards as a medium. So we feel safer when we say something because we know that we are not talking with another human being, but we are talking at them, with a physical filter (the device) that keeps us separate and far from each other. And, it is human nature, right? The more in proximity of a fight you are, the more frightened you get, because we all want to avoid physical confrontation.

Now, with social networks, smartphones, and computers, we had the opportunity to pick up fights remotely, without actually being in any of them.

What does it mean for us marketers?

One thing comes to mind here. Who are we really? Are we the Jekylls or are we the Hydes? I’d like to believe that we are somewhat in the middle (leaning towards the good guys). But if that is the case, and what we say online isn’t what we mean in reality, then are we giving too much importance to what people say in the digital space? And, if yes should we have a comms for online that drives a different behavior offline? Should we need 2 different tones of voice?

Honestly, we don’t have an answer to this, but we would love to hear what you all think.