Is social media and smart phones making people lie more?

Social media and smartphone making people lie more

Is social media and smartphones making people lie more? Social media and smartphones have provided humans with more ways to connect, but they also seem to have given them more liberty to lie and do other distrustful things that could hamper relationships.

One can respond to a friend with a lie to avoid a visit, hide your apartment in a video call, or invent an excuse to convince your boss in an email.

It’s not so much a problem who lies the most as to where they tend to lie the most; in person or on other mediums of communication.

Deception and technology have a strong connection when it comes to communication as technology provides the perfect ground for one to lie comfortably unlike when you meet a person and lie face to face.

It is easy to know when one lies face to face because there would be facial expressions and unconscious pointers that would give the liar away, but not so in communication with technology.

ALSO READ: Human Fragility: 11 Facts About You That Make You Cringe

ALSO READ: Challenges Of The Multitasking Mind

The connection between deceit and technology was studied in 2004 and it was discovered there is a shift in communication as we tend to make fewer calls and more social media messaging.

It was also observed that people are more confident and freer on social messaging than when having a face-to-face conversation where people tend to be fidgety when they lie.

The connection between deceit and social media/smart phone communication

A social researcher, Professor Rojii studied 30 students who had to report the number of interactions they had face-to-face, phone and short messaging including email over a period of seven days and the number of times they lied.

It was discovered that the students lied more on the phone while email recorded the least lies.

Rojii then worked out the number of lies per conversation for each medium and he found that lies made up 14 per cent of emails, 21 per cent of instant messages, 27 per cent of face-to-face interactions and a whopping 37 per cent of phone calls.

The discovery corroborated the feature-based model which reiterates the liberty technology, especially, communication technology provides to aid people to lie confidently.

In the study, it was found that synchronous communication aided lies and email recorded the least.

The rate of lying across different forms of communication

Despite changes in the way people communicate over the past two decades along with ways the COVID-19 pandemic changed how people socialize – people seem to lie systematically and in alignment with the feature-based model.

There are several possible explanations for these results, though more work is needed to understand exactly why different media lead to different lying rates.

It’s possible that certain media are better facilitators of deception than others. Some media – the phone, video chat – might make deception feel easier or less costly to a social relationship if caught.

Deception rates might also differ across technology because people use some forms of technology for certain social relationships.

For example, people might only email their professional colleagues, while video chat might be a better fit for more personal relationships.

Social media/smart phone communication aids as much as it hurts

Communication technology has its advantages which seems to be the reason it is popular in the first place. Though it aids positively more than it hurts, its disadvantages cannot be overlooked.

There have been many cases of heightened distrusts in relationships and families and even divorce as a result of assumptions stemming from attitudes on the phones or chat leakages that proved that a party in a relationship was lying.

There are, overall, small differences in lying rates across media. An individual’s tendency to lie matters more than whether someone is emailing or talking on the phone.

The fact that emails are automatically recorded – and can come back to haunt you appears to be the reason why email scored low.

ALSO READ: Emotional and Social Intelligence – The Dual Skill for a Successful Life

Since 2004, social media have become a primary place for interacting with other people. Yet a common misperception persists that communicating online or via technology, as opposed to in person, leads to social interactions that are lower in quantity and quality.

People often believe that just because we use technology to interact, honesty is harder to come by and users aren’t well served.

Not only is this perception misguided, but it is also unsupported by empirical evidence. The belief that lying is rampant in the digital age just doesn’t match the data.


Website | + posts

A Personal Development Content Creator and an author. I write about life ethics and love to document and share life hacks and experiences of people to help others make good life decisions.

Every content published on The Conducts Of Life is well-reviewed by experienced professionals in the field. Contents are fact-checked for accuracy, relevance, and timeliness and we include links to sources at the bottom of every article for more insights.

Leave a comment