Skincare experts Nivea are 100 years old this year and to celebrate a century they are on a mission to find out just how close we actually still are as a society. They have commissioned psychologist Professor Geoff Beattie to carry out research into closeness to find out if modern day mores have torn us apart or if they are in fact pulling us closer together.
The average UK resident spends nearly 6 hours 8 minutes on social media sites; this is the third highest level of social media use in the world. Online law firm Divorce-Online claim Facebook is cited as a contributing factor in one in five of divorce petitions. However research shows that that the sharing of personal information via media such as Twitter and Facebook can actually increase the feeling of connectedness.
Scientists have shown that sharing personal information online by uploading wedding or baby photos to be viewed by others for example is the visual equivalent to a good old gossip over a cup of tea. It allows our friends to catch up on what we are up to and feel part of our lives. The opportunity to comment and respond to these images promotes the feeling of closeness and involvement which in turn builds intimacy by developing mutual regard and understanding. Research also shows the anonymity of the Internet allows us to feel safe sharing our feelings with our friends. As a result we build friendships quicker online that in real life and real life relationship strengthen. Whether our medium of choice is Skype, texting or Instant Messaging it has never been so easy to stay in contact, more frequently and for longer.
This week I am meeting some online friends for the first time. I have laughed, cried and laughed until I cried with these women for four whole months. They have become some of my very closest friends. They do not judge, they have supported me and offered unconditional friendship. I should be excited, but I’m not I am scared. Although they know everything about me, I have opened up to them in a way I have with precious few others, the downside to the Internet is that I do not know what will happen when I meet them. Will they be how I expect? Will I recognise my online friends in the flesh and blood version (or will it be like the film version of your favourite book when the lead character is not how you expect). Will we even get on? I am really hoping so, beacuse if we don’t what on earth happens when we go back online? Have you been lucky enough to make a close friend online or is there no match for real life friendship? Share your views in the Feel Closer debate at facebook.com/niveauk.
Nivea are inviting you to get closer still as part of their A Million Moments of Closeness campaign. They are offering you the chance to win one of 100 prizes worth £100 by sharing a cosy moment in real life (that’s IRL for you net-heads). Simply pop down to a Nivea roadshow near you with a loved one and have your picture taken in their photo booth or submit a picture at facebook.com/niveauk for your chance to win a daily prize.
closer than ever
million moments of closeness
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