Commentary

Most People Lie On Social Media

Over half of people (well, British people) who use social media say they lie about themselves online, according to a new survey of 2,000 Brits conducted by Custard, a UK-based digital marketing services firm. Assuming that Americans aren’t in some way fundamentally more truthful than our cousins across the pond, it seems reasonable to assume that we’re all a bunch of big fat liars too.

Overall, just 19% of respondents to Custard’s online survey said that their social media profile is “a completely accurate reflection of me and who I am.” Meanwhile 31% said they edited out all the boring details to make their life seem more exciting, 14% said they specifically craft their profile page to make it seem like their social life is much more active than it actually is, and 12% said it was inaccurate for other reasons, including “lots of little lies or exaggerations.”

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Adding it all up, 57% of Brits surveyed said they don’t consider their profile page a fully accurate reflection of themselves (another 24% didn’t respond). Men were somewhat more likely to lie about their lives online, with 30.9% of men admitting to large numbers of fabrications, compared to 21.5% of women.

Custard also asked Brits what annoys them the most about social media, unleashing a torrent of politely contained bile. The most annoying habit of other social media users, at 43%, was attention-seeking status updates, followed by unending streams of selfies, at 40%; people gushing about their babies or children, at 30%; cryptic sniping at other people, at 29%; pictures of food, at 28%; over-posting, at 27%; and posts about gym or workouts, as well as gushing about significant others, both at 23%.

While it’s hardly surprising that many people try to present sanitized or idealized versions of their lives on social media – presenting yourself in the best light possible to others is a basic social instinct – when large numbers of people do it, in aggregate it can begin to present a distorted image of the world with negative psychological impacts on other users.

Last year a study published by the Future Foundation found that 56% of British social media users feel they are not reaching their full potential, compared to 39% of people who don’t use social media. Their main self-perceived shortcomings fell in the areas of body image, career, energy levels, and mood.
1 comment about "Most People Lie On Social Media".
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  1. Ted Rubin from The Rubin Organization / Return on Relationship, April 8, 2016 at 2:44 p.m.

    Guess what... most people lie about themselves and their lives away from Social Media, and before Social Media. So why would this be a surprise or some kind of major insight, or revelation. 

    Seriously. Most people lie on their resumes now and even more so before when it was much harder to check and verify.

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