According to a study conducted by the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia, people are more likely to lie when they text than talking face to face, or while talking on the phone. Although this may be true, there are still some factors to consider why people might lie when they text. Are people lying to others they are trying to impress? Maybe it is someone they just met on a social network. Maybe they are trying to hide something from someone they do not want to let down. I will go over my theories of why we choose to lie when we text and how, when it really matters, it is harmful to our true character.
As technology continues to add another layer to our hidden identity, it will only make it easier to hide who we really are and how we truly feel during a conversation via text messaging and social networks. So why the hell do we lie?
Dress to Impress
Hypothetically, we just added a few friends to our social network and we start chatting by text messaging. Do we feel compelled to “dress to impress” by giving a false identity of ourselves? Some people would and some people might not. Overall, we want who we are text messaging to think we are a “go get ‘em” type of person, so we might feel it is necessary to stretch the truth a tad. False identity does not stop with text messaging, it continues to our social networks – Facebook, Twitter, and Google +. For instance, we might post a leading statement stating how happy we are today, but we are actually experiencing a horrible day – our method of making ourselves feel better.
Don’t you love those text messages asking, “How is your day today?” and “Everything okay?” These types of questions can make us pause for a moment and think about our response, most of the time leaving us to think how our day is really going. Do we be honest and tell the truth or do we hide behind the electronic device we are holding in our hands? Hiding behind our device seems to be the easier of the two alternatives, so we respond and throw in a silly emoticon smiley face to show we are just dandy. Reading one another’s body language or listening to the pitch of our voice can be an indicator of what our words mean when we are saying something completely different from what we are displaying. If we cannot be honest with ourselves about who we are and how we really feel, what is going to happen if we run into this person, or when it is time to finally meet this person for first time.
Wish I could play some suspense music while you read this part of the article, but I do not have the technology to know when you actually get to this section – still working on that. So, we have chosen to hide behind our devices and lie to those we are text messaging to feel “secure” about how we feel, what we think, and who we are. Now what? Well, sooner or later, the truth is only going to come to the surface when we are either caught in our lie or our true identity is revealed. During the study conducted by the University of British Columbia, they realized that the students who found out they were lied to (via text message) were the most upset compared to being lied to during face to face interaction or over the phone.
How often do you lie when you text or post on Facebook, Twitter, or Google +?