Thursday, December 28, 2006

Bad News Coming in Small Bytes - A Follow-Up That's No Lie... Well, Maybe....

From Ash:

Back in August, Po and I wrote a piece, "Bad News Comes in Small Bytes: Are We Forgetting How To Be Honest In Person?," about how people are increasingly using technology to say what they wouldn't have the nerve to say in person (e.g., "You're fired," "I don't want to see you anymore.")

Today, a report out of the U.K. seems to further answer our titular question. We haven't forgotten to be honest; instead, we intentionally lie – early and often – and we choose technology to help us in our deception.

According to a survey commissioned by Friends Provident, a whopping 81% of Britons say they say at least one white lie every day. And these aren't just as in "I love your new haircut." No, these include covering up big mistakes at work and the like.

Three-fourths of those surveyed say that they use technology to tell these lies.

But here's the really troubling part: half of them said that they felt less guilty about a lie told via email or other tech gadgetry, than they would have had, if they'd had to have lied straight to the person's face.

Just think – if Alexander Bell cried out for Watson's aid via text msg today, Watson probably would have replied, "Sorry - 2 sick 2 work 2day."


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