You're More Likely to Tell the Truth via Text -- Honestly?!

woman textingBack in December, headlines blared that texting turns us into total liars! Makes sense. It's much easier to lie via text than lie with a straight face when you're face-to-face. But now, the latest research says we actually ARE more likely to tell the truth when texting.

Huh? The idea that texting forces us to be more honest just seems counterintuitive. What about hiding behind a tiny smartphone screen could possibly make someone forthcoming?


Well, apparently, researchers from the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research say that when we are carrying on convos via text, we may be less likely to give "good enough, easy answers." We have more time between responses to come up with a "more accurate answer."

Hmm. Perhaps, but you could also argue we have more time to think of the best way to gloss over the truth. Seems to me this can cut both ways. It totally depends on what you're texting about. For instance, is a guy who is cheating on his wife going to be more honest while texting his mistress (because he thinks he's doing something that's less audacious than actually saying those things out loud?) or less honest (because he knows that the texts will make for a visual, permanent record?).

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Obviously, there were scenarios -- like cheating -- that this study didn't cover! Plus, subjects here answered more honestly when it came to pretty basic Qs I would think most of us would have no trouble being truthful about, like, "In a typical week, about how often do you exercise?" or "During the past 30 days, on how many days did you have five or more drinks on the same occasion?"

That said, seems to me the wise thing to do is assume the worst, hope for the best, and question everything! Maybe it's cynical, but for me, despite how as we do it these days, texting just doesn't cut it when it comes to the truth.

Do you think we're more prone to lie or be more truthful when texting?

Image via English106/Flickr

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