In my post 10 Things That Love Is, I listed Honesty as a representation of love. We all want to believe that the person we are in a romantic relationship with is completely honest with us. However, Mark L Knapp, a renown author and professor of Communications, states that it is not uncommon that people even in close relationships are likely to be in situations in which honesty will not be practiced. Believe it or not, deception plays a complex role in romantic relationships. As our online interactions increase, we find that it is a place where dishonesty is most abundant and it effects the dynamics of our relationships. Dishonesty is very common in relationships. Studies show that the average person lies several times a day. Some of the lies are significant like, “Baby, I’ve never cheated on you.” While other lies have altruistic intentions like, “No, you don’t look fat in that dress.” This post focuses on lies that occur during online communication. There are 2 types of deceptions can occur:
A. Lying about who you are and deceiving the person on the other end of the screen.
B. Engaging in an inappropriate conversation online and deceiving your partner.
Online deception occurs so often that it important that we increase our understanding of computer-mediated communication and how it relates to infidelity and deception. No matter what your mode of communication is, whether text, email, online chat, or social media, the bottom line is that people communicate to form relationships. For some reason a lot of deception within relationships occur via computer mediated communication. What is it about computer mediated communication that seems to make it so easy for people to communicate things that they wouldn’t normally communicate in face to face interactions?
Well, for one, with computer mediated communication, one person speaks at a time. This means that the participants in communication have an even playing field. Each party feels they have an equal chance to say whatever they want, however they want, and whenever they feel comfortable to press that little “Send” button. Secondly, computer mediated communication lacks contextual cues. This non-verbal element is essential in face to face communication. In face to face communication 90% of what we communicate is non-verbal. Therefore, a lot of what we don’t say effects what we do say. May times body language doesn’t allowing us to say what we really want to say face to face. Computer-mediated communication offers the feeling of a more open communication without hindrances. The idea of having the opportunity to say exactly what you want, without feedback cues that may make you feel inappropriate, awkward or judged, fosters a feeling of empowerment. Because of this empowerment and freedom of speech incurred with computer mediated communication, one can increase self-disclosure and expression of one’s true self.