When someone – your child, your spouse, a friend – tells a lie in person, it can be a challenge to determine if it’s the truth or not. We like to think we are great judges of character and can see through anything, but we are often blinded by our need to believe in the good and the honest. Now that we are interacting so frequently online, and e-meeting new people every day, people we know but don’t really KNOW, how do you tell the truth from a lie?
I was in a discussion recently with some friends about one story in particular…and was it true or not? We went back and forth and tried to find some hint one way or another, but who wants to think you’ve been lied to? It’s easier to believe that people are sincere and want to do good. The truth is that being online gives you the opportunity to reinvent yourself and play a role – almost like acting. You may be looking at someone and really not seeing THEM at all. It’s not until you meet and share real time with the person that you begin to put pieces together.
Who’s the drunk?
Who’s the pill popper?
Who exaggerates stories to play on emotions?
Who’s not leading the life they say they are at all?
You may never know. How many of us ever get to meet those people in real life? There are local events – so local online friends may find it easeir to sniff out the truths from the lies. Conferences are a great way to see people as they are since many of them are 3-4 days long. But in reality most of us will not attend them or meet those people in real life.
We share so much of ourselves with our online friends and in doing that feel a certain level of intimacy. After all we spend sometimes hours online with them each day. That can lead us to share things we might only share with people in our close to home circle. And it cycles…someone you meet shares something intimate and you feel like you can share more freely too.
And there lies the confusion.
Do you believe everyone? Do you think you have people online figured out?