Social Loafing of a different kind (in online space)

In the social psychology of groups, social loafing is the phenomenon of people deliberately exerting less effort to achieve a goal when they work in a group than when they work alone. (Source: Wikipedia). However, I’m going to put forward my views of social loafing from the prism of online

The time spent of social networking platforms is increasing phenomenally.  This can be attributed to 2 factors mainly driven by technology advancements –

-       Accessibility
-       Time on hand

However in an effort to stay relevant and active in the platform, people are resorting to a different kind of social loafing… The popularity of ‘like’ button compared to the ‘comments’ is a wonderful example. The reason is the ‘liking’ a post or pic takes less effort than to create a comment

Similarly are the social sharing buttons on websites, and other features like ‘share’ and re-tweet buttons available for users who are social loafers

The classic effect of social loafing can be seen in online campaigns where-in people are asked to share the page/activity with their friends. There is a heavy drop-outs in terms of participation in this step as most would think that others would do the sharing, and hence exert less effort in sharing the same. That is the reason why we see that social plug-ins are becoming popular in online campaigns for people to share the activity and increase participation





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