Do we lie more on social networking sites?
Published by Leyre Velasco
There can be no denying that social networking is booming, to the point that head-hunters are increasingly using social media to find and research candidates, as we explained on a previous post on online reputation. That’s why it is so important to take good care of it.
However, can you build a certain online reputation deliberately? Well, yes you can. Nevertheless, it will most likely be a reputation based on exaggeration and, occasionally, sheer lie. The Straight Talking Report, a survey commissioned by UK insurance company Direct Line, has revealed that people are more likely to lie on social networking sites like Twitter than in a face-to-face conversation. According to the research, only one in five people claim to be more honest on Twitter or via text messages, compared to a third who say that they are more frank when talking to someone in real life.
In addition, men tend to lie more via text messages than women (17 percent of men compared to 21 percent of women). Another nugget: Women are less likely to be truthful in person than men, with 12 percent more men claiming to be honest face-to-face than women.
In my opinion, this is perfectly normal for a number of reasons:
Firstly, lying is an in-built part of human nature.
Secondly, there is no body language on the Web, and we all know that in real life there are sometimes subtle movements –a gesture, a look, a blush – that can help to differentiate between a lie and the truth.
And finally there is the concept of the relationship between mask and online identity as defined by Dorian Wiszniewski and Richard Coyne. Basically, they point out that whenever an individual interacts in a social sphere they portray a mask of their identity. And this is even more so when social interaction takes place on the Internet, due to the conscious decisions made by the individual to manage their online reputation.
Social networks like Facebook let you design your own image through posts, tweets, comments, opinions, etc. It is obvious that slightly molding the ‘real you’ is absolutely normal as when you are online anyone can see you, read your comments and opinions, etc… and you are more exposed to criticism. Everything depends on the level of honesty you have when creating your online reputation.
What about you? Where do you have your most honest interactions – online or off?