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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?

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6 Comments on Sniffing Out The Online Liar

  1. Loralee
    July 4, 2011 at 10:30 pm (7 years ago)

    I am very trusting of most people but there are times when I smell a skunk and call “Bullshit” in my mind.

    One of the worst examples of this is when someone who was a friend at one time did something so horrifying that I refused to believe it for a long, long time, but finally, there was just too much proof to argue with it in my mind.

    But even still, I give people the benefit of the doubt. And I am extremely transparent online. I have to be because frankly…I have such a wild life (both good and bad) that it can get a bit, “NO WAY DID THAT HAPPEN” sometimes.

    Good topic, btw. xo

    • Linda
      July 4, 2011 at 10:55 pm (7 years ago)

      i’m facing something similar, and am trying to wade through what could be BS or could be a misunderstanding. I used to trust people without a question, but now I tend to look over my shoulder… I may not share my whole life on the blog or twitter, but I share in places online I consider safe – now i’m not even sure those exist… live and learn right?

  2. Jaime - Debutante Media
    July 4, 2011 at 1:04 am (7 years ago)

    It’s still SO easy to hide your “true self” when it comes to conferences, but when I think of online liars? I immediately go right to the “anonymous commenter” – you know, the person who say rude or hateful things under the veil of (what they think is) anonymity.

    And of course, it’s always the person unfamiliar with how IP Addresses work…. though that’s not really the main thing here. As someone who has been personally targeted by the anonymous commenter cruelty – as well as the constructive criticism that someone might not have been able to voice without that option – I have seen first-hand the benefits and downsides. We all lie a little – the reason why is the real question for me.

    (And this is super tangent-y, but it piqued my interest. Thank you for the post!)

    • Linda
      July 4, 2011 at 7:07 pm (7 years ago)

      i hear ya! And I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with the negative. I’ve only seen it on YouTube and I take that with a grain of salt. I do question certain people and their motives on a regular basis. I’m not sure if I should be more cautious or more accepting.

  3. Nota Supermom
    July 3, 2011 at 10:09 pm (7 years ago)

    Important things first: love the new look of the blog.

    Regarding your post–I’m pretty trusting, but some things do trigger my skepticism. Frequent sob stories, appeals for money or whatever, ping my radar from people I don’t know well.

    A good friend of mine is active an on-line forum for her profession. A guy who was really popular and active on the blog turned out to be a total fake. It was a huge scandal. He could really talk the talk, too.

    • linda
      July 3, 2011 at 11:21 pm (7 years ago)

      I can imagine it happens all the time. sometimes it takes a while to sort through the truths and lies. I’m not a fan of playing games…


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