Social Media
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?

David Martins

January 19, 2012 6:39 pm Reply


This is actually a very cool and post.
As you siad it’s in human nature to lie, wheter to protect someone they like, protect themselves, lie just for lying, hiding emotions, faking emotions whatever the reason is… humans always lie.

I’m not the social network type, i mean i have facebook and i’m subscribed in some blogs but the thing i try not to do is comment everything or posting things about myself. I do my best not to share personal information or my daily routine.
I am certain i’m honest the most speaking face to face for the reason you said, you can see expressions and that way you have at least the ‘power’ to see if what is being said is true or not.


    January 19, 2012 7:28 pm Reply

    Quite right David! The thing is, a lot of people use the social networks as a means to market themselves and their reputation. As far as I see it, there is no problem there provided what you sell is true :-)

    Thank you very much for ytour comment!


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