Turns Out That People Are Actually Pretty Honest About Themselves Online

from the myth-debunked dept

Many people think that when people set up their online social networking profiles, they may be prone to… exaggerating a bit. Given that they can control what they say about themselves, many have posited that those profiles really represent an idealized version of themselves. Yet, perhaps that’s not true. Jose Luis Campanello points us to a recent study that found that people actually tend to be pretty honest in their social networking profiles. This really doesn’t seem all that surprising when you think about it. I would guess that the results might be a bit different if they looked at dating sites, rather than social networking sites. On a social networking site, you’re connecting with a lot of people you probably already really know in real life. As such, it makes little sense to present much of an idealized version of yourself, because your friends already know you — and might even call you out for being fake. Still, as the report notes, there are still some people who believe that the norm is for people to lie about themselves, when the truth is that, in such realms, people really do tend to be pretty honest. And that’s a good thing.

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Comments on “Turns Out That People Are Actually Pretty Honest About Themselves Online”

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FatGiant (profile) says:

Not only good...

…but necessary.

When you start social networking you need to base yourself on who you truly are. Other then that, you are not only exposed to be deemed fake, but, completely ruin your efforts of building any kind of network.

So, it’s no wonder.

What I feel you left unsaid, is that even the lies will actualy tell who you are. Also the choices of not divulging certain details, also tells volumes about you.


Nate (profile) says:

Expand the Domain?

In my experience with online games (PC) I’ve found that this honesty has held true for all the online friends I’ve later met in real life so far. This hasn’t surprised me at all (my parents on the other hand lol…). I’ve always figured most everyone was just an average person using the Internet like myself. Any one else ever meet online friends before and found the same results (or not)?

JLE says:


It would help if the article defined criteria the study found truthful. I imagine people are honest about their age, location and marital status.

However, no person has an objective view of himself or herself, and interests and knowledge base change in people as they experience, learn, and grow. Their favorite movie might not be honest if they’ve just seen a new one deemed the new favorite.

Articles like this are too oversimplified to hold meaning.

Anonymous Coward says:

So someone does some investigation of an issue they think is interesting and Masnick who never even thought of the question before looks at the result and pronounces “This really doesn’t seem all that surprising when you think about it.”

That’s not surprising since the primary purpose f the blog is to point out that Masnick is smarter than everyone else and so people should pay him for consultancy rather than attempting to understand stuff by themselves.

But if we think about it a bit we might notice that while Masnick likes to write incendiary blog posts and get people very worked up, he likes to describe him self as an easy going laid back kind of guy ….. of course he could be honest but deluded, but everyone who knows him will have to laugh at his description of himself.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“That’s not surprising since the primary purpose f the blog is to point out that Masnick is smarter than everyone else”

Nah, that’s what mainstream media journalists tend to do, point out how much smarter they are then everyone else and complain when others present opinions that disagree with you. In fact, I think that’s your problem, you think your opinion is better than anyone elses because you’re smarter than anyone else and you don’t like the fact that no one pays attention to you.

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