A lack of willingness to listen and talk to each other and see things from someone else’s point of view is causing an “Empathy Gap”, particularly among young adults (16-24 year olds) according to new Coca-Cola research.
We are living in a time where it is easier to compliment and be kind online than it is face to face. In fact, almost two-thirds of young adults in Europe feel that we can find greater happiness as a society if we behave more empathetically towards each other.
According to the research, 63 percent of all Europeans surveyed said that listening to and understanding others can lead to a happier society. So, where do we see our most empathetic selves? Social media allows positive engagements at the click of a button, but how do we encourage this behaviour in our day to day for that all-important human connection?
To test this hypothesis Coca-Cola partnered with three Irish personalities; Fashion & Lifestyle influencer Niamh Cullen, Radio & TV host Stephen Byrne and Travel Blogger Francesca McKee to track their online engagements for one week. Every like, comment and story reaction was captured to identify how much they interact with people online versus in their real lives. The experiment revealed some interesting truths – all three shared the love with their online community a total of 1,245 times during the seven-day period.
Niamh, Stephen and Francesca were set a challenge – to be as kind and complimentary as they are online when they interact with others offline, and give the same number of compliments and affirmations to others daily. We went along and filmed Niamh and Stephen taking their online positivity offline, with some hilarious results. It’s not as easy as you would think – but both Niamh and Stephen were taken aback by the great reaction they got from people!
Interactions were unbelievably positive and there was a whopping 85 compliments posted on Instagram. Monday, the bluest day of the week, saw the most compliments given during the 7-days. Stephen Byrne gave an incredible 12 compliments out on the Monday of the experiment, while Francesca McKee gave the most compliments of all three in just one day, with 17 shared. The most used reaction to an Instagram story for both Niamh and Francesca was the love heart eyes emoji, while Stephen used the fire reaction over 19 times in one week. The highest amount of likes on one day came from Francesca who liked a whopping 129 posts in 24 hours.
Supporting each other online is important, however Coca-Cola wants to bring this positivity offline. Over the past 134 years Coca-Cola has a history of bringing people together all over the world through its marketing and community activations.