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Everyone on Facebook is preaching to the choir

Everyone on Facebook is preaching to the choir
AHMAD FAIZAL YAHYA / Shutterstock.com

When you're talking about politics or current events on Facebook, do you ever feel like everyone agrees with you? You're not alone. A new study shows that people are more willing to share their opinions online if they think other people agree with them.

The Pew Research Center Internet Project studied over 1,800 adults who use social media. They looked at how willingly each person discussed their opinions on NSA leaker Edward Snowden both on social media and in person.

The researchers think this happens because people don't want to lose friends just because they have a different opinion. So, if they think their views are unpopular, they choose to keep them to themselves.

And online, as in person, people were more willing to speak up if they thought others agreed with them.

The study also found that people who log in to Facebook or Twitter daily are less likely to talk about their opinions when they're not online, too. Even if their opinions were popular online, frequent Facebook users were not as likely to share their opinions in person.

Those regular users who felt themselves in the majority on Facebook were “still only .74 times as likely to voice their opinion” offline as those who did not quite so frequently go on Facebook.

The study definitely has some issues, because it only looked at one topic. Some people may not have spoken up because they didn't know much about the Snowden story. They'd have to look at how these people reacted to a wide range of stories to really tell if everyone on your Facebook page is agreeing with you.

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Source: Slate
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