A new study just came out that says people who text slowly are more likely to be liars. Whaat? How can they be onto me, already? I just started texting with my new Smart Phone last week! You can read about this dreadful, I mean this wonderful surprise birthday gift here:
Researchers (and let me just derail for a moment to say these are, shall we say, an interesting group of people, themselves) have found that when people lie in texts, they take longer to respond, make more edits, and write shorter responses than usual.
Folks, if that isn’t a description of me, trying to text, I don’t know what is. Ergo I am the biggest liar out there. You can see the article on this breakthrough announcement at Meridian, the very online magazine where I write a weekly column here. And yet, despite my being the most suspiciously deceptive individual with a cell phone, they still permit me to write for them.
Apparently we humans are lousy at detecting untruths. We can only spot lies about half of the time, and we’re even less accurate when someone lies digitally, because we can’t see or hear them. And those tell-tale pauses, the editing… it all points to Pinocchio, I tell you.
But I want to go one further. I think St. Bob, when he swipes the word manana, trying to sound as if he speaks Spanish, and it comes out banana, well—we all know this could point to his having psychotic, perhaps even serial killer, tendencies. The very screen he’s working on has him pegged—he’s bananas!
And when he writes Joni, and it comes out Homi, well, you can’t get more racist than that. Sometimes it comes out Hobo, a disparaging and not politically correct label that makes us all shake our heads and wonder what is wrong with that man.
There’s another clue, here. When I text, the punctuation I so dearly love, goes out the window. Gone. Desapareció (See? I actually do speak Spanish). It’s like the time I put an apostrophe in the wrong place, and my daughter stared at me and said, “This is the first sign that you need to go into assisted living.” Well, now that I’m texting without any punctuation at all, it has to be a cry for help that I need to be put down. Or at least sent on a cruise. Something to ease the pain.
Hurry and text your friends to subscribe to this blog. But for heaven’s sake, don’t pause when you do it, or they’ll never believe you.