The Psychology of Online Comments

The Psychology of Online Comments

When reading an article, many scan through and go straight to the most interesting section: the comments. Once there, the reader will either learn about the different users’ points of view or get frustrated by the irrelevance of the posts. Along with the frustration, there is a bigger question: what is it that makes people want to comment? Crafting a thoughtful response to a post is something that takes time and consideration, so why do it? There are several factors that will determine whether you will leave a comment or not and below are a few of them.

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Source: http://www.quietrev.com/communication-overload/

Men comment more than women

One of the influencers is gender. A study by Sydney University found that on some sites as much as 79% commenters were male. It also showed that while women tended to prefer using their real identity, men preferred to remain anonymous. As with most gender-related issues, this too is rooted within social reasons reaching a possible conclusion that perhaps men feel more confident to express their opinions without being trolled. So even though there is a myth that woman talk more, there is proof that men comment more.

Talking about experiences and sharing emotions

Another influencer is the issue of experience. Seems pretty obvious, right? People should comment on what they know. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case but it usually is a good incentive to get people to share their opinion. The more people the post strikes a chord with, the more populated the comment section is likely to be. And last, but definitely not least, is the influence emotion has over us. Posts that evoke some kind of emotion, whether funny, controversial or make the reader feel angry are more likely to get commented on. This is also the kind of content that is most widely shared.

Comments are here to stay

Social interactions are what connect us, as a society and as individuals. Through these interactions, people design systems and rules through which they seek to live. The same goes for our lives online. We share our personal experiences, as well as items we find worthwhile, in order to create these interactions.

While online, our interactions are mostly based on nonverbal communication; letters, symbols, emoticons and so on. Psychologists have long talked about the difference between face-to-face communication and other indirect ways of communicating. Without non-verbal cues, context and tone, comments can become impersonal and cold, and yet today we are commenting and sharing our opinions more than ever.  In a phenomenon known as shared reality, our experience of something is affected by whether or not we will share it socially. We want to feel that we are part of a community, but there is a limit to how well text can facilitate this. Without body language or tone of voice, text remains an inherently ambiguous medium. It allows us to share out reality, but only up to a certain point. Luckily there are other types of comments platforms out there, and one way to bring the nuance back to comments is to use voice. Audio comments help to make communication more personal and less ambiguous. By doing this, they make us much more likely to leave a comment.

Heyoya is a game-changing comments and reviews platform that brings voice to e-publishers and e-stores, improving sales and user engagement by allowing readers to express themselves beyond the medium of text. Heyoya’s new Receiver plan allows for quick and easy below-the-fold monetization. Heyoya is a game changer for websites and is proven to increase brand affinity and the quality of user-generated content.

 For more information about Heyoya, click here.

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