Sunday, July 10, 2011

[[ HI-TECH LIES ]]

Girlfriend received a message from his boyfriend that he was out with the boys. Not to be worried. No grounds for suspicion. Months later, post-breakup, she learned he was cheating on her that night.

For some people, being constantly reachable creates new reasons to be deceptive.
If a person isn't physically in front of you during a discussion, you have no real way to judge as to whether or not he is telling the truth. There are no gestures and facial expressions to judge, and minimal emotional cues if any.Many believe it is easier to lie by text than by phone or in person, but that's not necessarily true.

People have always lied. The funny thing is that new technologies are merely changing the ways and the reasons we lie. Witness the "butler lie" that describes lies that politely initiate and terminate instant messaging conversations. Excuses like "Gotta go, boss is coming!" Like butlers, they act as social buffers, telling others that we are at lunch when we are just avoiding them.

Being constantly reachable makes butler lies necessary to many people because the ambiguities inherent in traditional texting also made them easier. Texters typically do not know when outgoing messages are read, where their recipients are or what they are doing.

Yet technology is already laying siege to the butler lie. Have you heard of the services like BlackBerry Messenger that enable mutual users to track when their texts are read? They are effectively torpedoing the "sorry, phone died last night" excuse. "Friend tracking" applications like Google Latitude allow people to geographically pinpoint their friends' mobile phones. So much for "stuck in traffic" when you really overslept. Cool? I think so too. :) But maybe not.

Butler lies and lying-and-texting in general is based on ambiguity that the medium gives you. As you start to threaten that ambiguity, it changes the way that you lie. People are already adapting, finding how to circumvent BlackBerry Messenger and read texts undetected. But if technology has spawned new ruses, are we actually lying more?

Texting and other digital forms of communicating are really new, so our beliefs about them tend to be more on the negative/suspicious side. Don't you think people actually lie more often by phone than by text, aware that lies are reproducible once spelled-out and sent?

Saying anything that you don't want shared in a text is a terrible idea. You're essentially giving the target of your lie a copy of the lie.

1 comment:

arnia said...

lies add spice..eh ka nga....hehehe...write more.....