What are the cultural differences online?

As part of Passport to Trade 2.0 we surveyed over 1500 individuals in 31 European countries examining cultural differences online. In particular, participants were asked about their use of social media. Our research suggests that increasingly social media is making us into global citizens and the cultural barriers are decreasing and are less evident amongst the younger netizens.

Some cultural differences online

Respondents from businesses were more vocal about their cultural differences. They highlighted cultural differences in issues such as attitudes to

  • Humor
  • Trust
  • Ability to learn about the individual
  • Challenges in mixing of personal and professional identity
  • Different approaches to customer feedback online.

No cultural differences online

However, students did not see any major cultural differences, which suggests that the new generation of consumers are less concerned about the national borders and cultures.

Most popular social networks

The most popular social network used was identified as Facebook. However, business users prefer to use LinkeIn and students use YouTube as their second most popular network.

Do you agree?

Share your views about your social media experience with us – do you agree that there are any cultural differences online?



About Aleksej Heinze

Passport to Trade 2.0 project leader. My research interests are in the area of disruptive innovation using information technology (IT) and the use of IT in business management. Topics include: enterprise 2.0; web 2.0, international business culture, search engine optimisation, and social media marketing.

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