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These ratings were then compared to personality ratings made by strangers who only viewed the subjects' Facebook pages.
Strangers’ perceptions, based on the Facebook pages, showed a greater correspondence with the actual than ideal personality ratings, suggesting that Facebook profiles reflect actual and not idealized selves.
In addition, those high in the trait of are more likely to be dishonest on these sites.
In all aspects of their social lives, self-monitors are concerned with outward appearance and adapt their behavior to match the social situation.
Online daters tend to be most honest about their relationship history, religious and political beliefs, education—and hair and eye color (Toma et al., 2008). Social networking sites like Facebook also provide a major source of online interactions with others. Back and colleagues (2010) compared people’s real personalities with the personas they projected online, asking subjects to rate both their own personality and their "ideal" personality.
Their offline close friends also rated their personality.
They imagine that online forums are filled with sexual predators and people using false identities. Online interactions vary in terms of two major questions: (1) What venues are we using to communicate, and, (2) What are we lying about?
In an earlier post, I discussed how people involved in online relationships can develop intense bonds due to the unique ability for the anonymity and control provided by online interactions to enable expression of the “true self”: traits that a person possesses, but does not normally feel comfortable expressing to others.
Research has shown that when we chat online, even briefly, these normally hidden traits become more cognitively accessible to us and we actually do succeed in expressing them to others (Bargh et al., 2002).
So the lies we tell online have the potential to be far more all-encompassing than anything we could get away with in person.
Despite that, most online lies, like most offline lies, are subtle, representing people’s attempts to portray themselves in the best possible light, with slight exaggerations (Zimbler & Feldman, 2011).
In one study asking undergraduates to communicate with a stranger in a lab for 15 minutes, it was found that the students were more likely to misrepresent themselves online than face-to-face (Zimbler & Feldman, 2011).