Britons may be renowned for being emotionally shy and reserved face to face but one in five admit to opening up about their feelings while online, a new survey has found. Skip related content
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About 20% revealed they were more likely to be honest about their wellbeing when asked "How are you?" while using a social networking site or email.
The study for healthcare company Bupa polled 2,224 adults via YouGov in March as part of its "How are you Britain?" report.
According to the findings, more than three quarters (78%) of Brits thought they were more open about their health than 20 years ago, with the figure rising to 83% among females.
One in 10 (10%) of Brits currently signed up to a social networking site said they posted an online comment about how they were feeling at least once a day, with 32% admitting they do so at least once a week.
However, the study also suggested Brits reverted to type when responding in person to a query about how they were feeling. On average, people were asked the question "How are you?" four times a day, with more than half (53%) stating they gave a similar response each time without properly considering their feelings.
Close to a third (31%) said they opted to give a vague answer because they thought people were only asking to be polite.
Bupa Health and Wellbeing medical director Dr Katrina Herren said: "We believe 'How are you?' should not be a rhetorical question.
"It's an important conversation starter and people needn't be afraid of responding with how they really feel.
"Sharing an emotion with people who listen and don't judge it to be good or bad can not only make you feel better but improve communication between you and others and maintain your mental wellbeing."