Insecure Britain: A third of us spend more time on Facebook than talking to friends in real life – and we lie to make ourselves sound ‘cool and interesting’

  • A third of Brits admit to lying online to look ‘cool and interesting’
  • One in five prefer to communicate online rather than face-to-face or on the phone
  • One in five have also missed out on that ‘magic moment’ – like a child’s first steps – because of fiddling with a camera

  A survey of 2,000 social network users has given us a few home truths to think about.

For British people on social networks like Facebook and Badoo seem quite happy to lie about what they have done and who they have seen – and spend more time keeping their virtual life up-to-date than keeping up with ‘real-life’ friendships.

Some people admit their online friendships are all about looking ‘cool and interesting’ – with a third of us lying in order to look better.

Equally, a third of people admit they are more likely to speak to strangers over a social network compared to face-to-face, a third spend more time chatting with online friends than with offline friends, and a quarter of us feel more confident communicating online.

 Online communication helps us all stay in touch – but at the cost of making us bolder and, for some of us, more dishonest in our interactions

The research was carried out by social networking site Badoo, which quizzed 2,000 Britons on their online habits and asked independent psychologist Emma Kenny to look at how social networks affect people’s friendships.


She claimed the results showed that as a nation, social networks appear to bolster people’s confidence (26%) and help facilitate new friendships (33%).

However, the cost can be high with 27 per cent of Brits admitting they get lonely, and over one in ten (16%) prefer to engage in text or online contact, rather than face-to-face interaction or chatting via the telephone.

The survey also revealed that seventeen per cent of Brits have missed key events such as a child’s stage or sporting performance and a baby’s first steps due to trying to capture it on their phone or camera purely for their social network.

Ms Kenny said: ‘It’s important that people don’t become so obsessed with their online persona that they lose touch with reality or miss out on real-life events which the research shows us is becoming the case.

‘While social networks are a positive addition to our lives and can boost confidence and help people stay in touch, it’s essential that people don’t lose sight of socialising together and the importance of face-to-face, real-life interaction.’

A spokesman for Badoo said it aimed to encourage people to use their social networks to instigate conversations and friendships, while maintaining face-to-face friendships.

Amy Mills said: ‘This research highlights the importance of having a healthy balance between online and offline social interaction.

‘Seven in 10 Badoo users tell us they use it to chat and make new friends. This study shows social networks give people a boost in confidence to approach new people.’

A separate survey carried out last week showed some technology-addicts regularly go 48 hours without speaking to anyone in person.

Around 16 per cent of Britons are ‘digitally dominant’ of whom 19 per cent are so ruled by technology they can go for two days without any ‘verbal interaction’ said researchers dnx.

This implies that three per cent of Britains can regularly go two days without verbal interaction.


1 in 3 people have exaggerated or lied online about who they have met or what they have done

1 in 3 have more friends online than in real life

1 in 3 spend more time chatting online than meeting friends offline

1 in 3 say they are more likely to speak to strangers over a social network compared to face-to-face

1 in 4 people say they feel more confident online

1 in 4 confess to exaggerating or lying about who they’ve met or what they’ve done

1 in 4 Britons feel more confident interacting online

1 in 4 admit they get lonely

1 in 5 believe they will be able to make more friends online than in the real world

1 in 5 prefer to engage in text or online contact rather than face-to-face or chatting via the telephone

1 in 10 Britons admit their online friendships are solely about looking cool and interesting

But nearly half believe online friendships are superficial


Leave a Reply