I’m sick to death of hearing things from
uptight, short-sighted, narrow-minded hypocritics.
Just give me some truth…
~ John Lennon
I heard a particularly egregious, um, ‘story’ today, and it occurred to me to wonder whether people are more apt to lie in SL than in RL First of all, you can’t use your usual lie-detectors — that is, your senses — to discern a lie; an avatar doesn’t display the usual ‘tells’ that a human might. And because so much conversation takes place in IM, it’s quite possible for someone to tell one person one thing and at the same time be telling someone else something completely different. Yep, I’ve seen it happen. Further, there’s not a whole lot of accountability. In RL, habitual liars generally get caught sooner or later and have to pay a price. In-world, not so much; there are no credit checks or required references. Once found out, the liar can skip out on the old avatar and create a brand new self. A little research confirms my thesis: that people do lie more online than in RL.
So, that last little bit of nasty gossip you heard? While it could be tempting to spread it to your ten nearest and dearest friends, you might want to consider the possibility that it’s not true. Take a few hours off from SL, watch Rashomon on Netflix, and allow yourself to feel a little doubt. And a little compassion. After all, the person who spreads the lie is almost bad as the liar who told it in the first place.
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