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Essay on Jeff Hancock: The Future Of Lying

Jeff Hancock: The Future of Lying On TED talks, Jeff Hancock, a Professor in the Department of Communication at Stanford University, spoke about the future of lying. Professor Hancock specialize in Social Science and one of his research focuses on how we have changed our behavior to lie less through online communication due to it being on permanent record. “The Butler,” “The Sock Puppet,” and “The Chinese Water Army” are types of deceptions that Professor Hancock and his team are tracking and documenting.

On this video, Professor Hancock also talked about how back in the days, before writing surfaced about 5,000 years ago, every word that our ancestors has ever said or uttered are untraceable; but now that it’s the “networking age,” we are now in an environment where we are recording everything. After watching Professor Handcock’s discussion on TED talks, I tried to look back on the conversations I’ve had with someone in the past, face to face and on the social media, to discern situations where Thad to omit little white lies. I realized that I have done “The Butler” more in a face to face conversation than in social media.

Realizing the reasons, when I looked inside myself why I have done this more in person was because in Social Media, all I had to do was not respond to a question or statement to eliminate my need to lie. But in person, if I don’t respond at all, it would seem that I disagree with that person. For example, at work, who doesn’t have a co-worker who complains about almost everything? And when you do disagree on some of those things they’re complaining about, that co-worker starts to get either defensive or aggressive or both. I have learned to just nod and not utter anything at all whenever I am in that situation; I think hat was a form of lying too.

That by me not saying anything, kind of made them think that I am agreeing to whatever they were saying, when in reality, I mostly do not agree at all. That form of lying was just my way of trying to not get into any disagreement with them or have them have any ill thoughts or feelings towards me. Although my lying was intentional whenever I am in that situation, I will try to use open-ended questions next time whenever I have to listen to a complaint, per the “Phone Skills for the information age” textbook’s advice.

I will also try to just confirm my understanding of the problem and offer positive solutions to help. In the article, “Motivation and Consequences of Lying. A Qualitative Analysis of Everyday Lying” by Beata Arcimowicz, Katarzyna Cantarero and Emilia Soroko, it was said that the most frequent types of lies are egoistic lies and other-oriented lies. It was also said that egoistic lies are socially more unacceptable because it was known to better serve the liar; while other-oriented lies are intended to better serve other people.

From my past observations, people do sometimes tell little lies to make their stories or themselves much more appealing and interesting, those lies maybe egoistic lies, but as long those little lies doesn’t hurt anyone’s feelings, it does not bother me much. Now, I would call the lies performed, when I have co-workers complained about things | believe was not worth complaining about, an “other-oriented” lies since I was doing it to help them have someone to go to whenever they needed to let their anger out instead of keeping it inside them to escalate into much worst.

But if I have to be honest here, I do realized that it could also be called egoistic lies since those lies I performed benefitted me from not being hated on. In this digital age we now live, like Professor Hancock pointed out, since majority of being said and done are being recorded, lying becomes more discoverable. Hence, the lies | mentioned in this essay that I typically performed in front of my co-workers can now be discoverable by them.

Which do makes me wants to re-write all of this so I don’t get into trouble in the case that it was read by those who comes to me a lot to complain about things. This essay would totally make me look bad to them doesn’t it? It just shows to confirm Professor Hancock’s point because after this essay I, for one, will never document a lie I have performed for the world to read later. Meaning, I will never write about it at all, hence, proving the point that people will lie less now due to it being on permanent record.

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