The Future of Deception
How is our ever changing world changing us?
Social scientist and former Canadian customs officer, Jeff Hancock, dissects deception in his TED Talk: “The Future of Lying”.
He defines certain lies as a relationship, and that in such a connected world with the Internet, cell phones, Skype etc., we are able to get in touch with each other 24 hours a day. Keeping that in mind he talks about what he coined “Butler” lies.
Lies such as I’m on my way and sorry I didn’t respond sooner my battery was dead are used to create a buffer between us and the connections to everyone else. These Butler lies are aimed not at being malicious deceptions, but are aimed at protecting the relationship.
However, he goes on to state, “Lying is very pervasive. The human imagination is capable of conceptualizing massive lies”
Interesting facts that were revealed in Hancock’s research:
1. Email is the most honest form of communication and the phone is the most deceptive. He purports that this can be due to ambiguities in the ‘Butler” lie.
2. Paper resumes vs. LinkedIn : LinkedIn resumes were more honest in things that really mattered to employers such as an individual’s responsibilities and skills.
3. Most Facebook profiles seem to reflect actual personalities rather than false bravados.
People lie frequently but most of those lies are subtle lies meaning they stay very near what the truth is. Why ?
Well, big lies compared to subtle lies are more easily verifiable when you meet someone or when they get to know you on a more intimate level (good friends, boyfriend/girlfriends etc).