Lying on line dating
So the lies we tell online have the potential to be far more all-encompassing than anything we could get away with in person.
Despite that, most online lies, like most offline lies, are subtle, representing people’s attempts to portray themselves in the best possible light, with slight exaggerations (Zimbler & Feldman, 2011).
This perception is fueled by sensationalistic cases like the Craigslist Killer and the false identities created by subjects on MTV’s . To address the first issue, there are many ways to meet people online—dating sites, chat rooms or forums, or social networking sites.
When I have my own undergraduate students read about the “true self” research, many are shocked by the results, having believed that the Internet was rife with dishonesty.
The idea that people could be, in some ways, genuine online than off strikes them as counterintuitive.
But the research suggests that when you’re chatting with someone online—in a Facebook private message or via the instant messaging function on a dating website—you and the other person may actually be especially authentic in how you present your personality. In general, people are likely to be pretty honest online; most online deception does involve the creation of false identities.
In an earlier post, I discussed how people involved in online relationships can develop intense bonds due to the unique ability for the anonymity and control provided by online interactions to enable expression of the “true self”: traits that a person possesses, but does not normally feel comfortable expressing to others.
Research has shown that when we chat online, even briefly, these normally hidden traits become more cognitively accessible to us and we actually do succeed in expressing them to others (Bargh et al., 2002).