Monday, July 25, 2022

Internet hasn’t Reduced Face-to-Face Social Interaction in Russia, Makarkin Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 2 – Many believe that people interacted more often face to face in Soviet times than they do now and that one of the major reasons for that is the rise of Internet culture, Aleksey Makarkin says; but a new VTsIOM poll shows that that belief is not an accurate description of reality.

            At present, the poll shows, 62 percent of Russians visit friends and relatives on a monthly basis, almost exactly the same figure in 1992 when this rate of face-to-face social interaction stood at 61 percent, the Moscow analyst notes. Moreover, young people are more likely to do so than pensioners (

            What this means, Makarkin says, is that “internet culture and online communications have not driven out of the lives of young people the traditional methods of inter-personal communications.” That was especially clear during the covid lockdown when young people tried to break free of restrictions most often to meet with their counterparts.

            VTsIOM also reports that for Russians, politics is second only to friends and families as the subject for discussion, 40 percent to 54 percent, with men and the middle aged most likely to discuss politics. But so far, the analyst says, while these people may have an opinion on everything political, they aren’t yet given to acting on it.

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