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BizReport : Internet : October 22, 2010

People more likely to lie when hidden behind a screen

Sometimes research simply confirms what we already know. For example, U.K. insurance firm Direct Line's new report on the use of technology for communication found that people don't always tell the truth when chatting from behind a computer screen. You don't say.

by Helen Leggatt

Direct Line's "Straight Talking Report" found that - shock horror - not everyone who chats on social media sites like Twitter, or via text, is telling the truth. Did we really need a report to tell us that?

A third of the respondents professed to be more honest when speaking to a person face to face, while just one in five were more truthful online. Women were less likely to be honest face to face, whereas men were more likely to tell it as it is.

"Modern technologies, such as smartphones, social networking and instant messaging have been hailed as innovations in the way people interact, removing obstacles to conversation and allowing for openness of discourse," said psychologist Glenn Wilson.

"However, we sometimes use these means of communication rather than a face-to-face encounter or a full conversation when we want to be untruthful, as it is easier to fib to someone when we don't have to deal with their reactions or control our own body language."

So, does my behind look big in these jeans?

Tags: social media, user behavior

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