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How to Spot out Liars in a Digital World

How to Spot out Liars in a Digital World

The digital world has opened our lives up in many ways. Social connections can be made at a click of a button so it’s become a fast and easy place to meet people. This ease means you can reach millions of people, interact and have conversations as well as the control to respond or ignore anyone you want, which can be much harder in the real world. Building multiple relationships at once becomes the norm online with those people living in any corner of the world.

But what’s the downside to all of this? The problem is that, with the ease of building relationships with others, comes the greater the risk of being scammed. According to the Internet Complaint Centre, a whopping $173 million was lost by people scammed by romantic fraudsters just in California alone.[1]

If the digital world is a great place to build new connections and enhance our lives, why do more and more people fall for these scams online than they probably would in the real world?

How Our Minds Work: The Truth Bias

For our social, career and even governmental relationships to work, a certain amount of trust has to be in place. This is because questioning people’s veracity at every turn doesn’t create harmonious relationships. In other words, it’s become a social default to ignore inconsistencies because we want to trust that what we hear, see and read is the truth. This is known as the truth bias.

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    And while the truth bias is essentially a peaceful and amicable way to go about the world, unfortunately it provides the average liar with an advantage.

    Online presence takes away real life verbal and physical clues that face-to-face communication provides which is one way to fall for a liar’s words. But many people often dismiss discrepancies in order to avoid upfront questioning and would prefer to believe they are speaking to a truthful person.

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      The internet essentially acts as a mask making it hard to really know who we’re exchanging words with. In the real world, we can get a feel for a person’s energy or body language which helps create a fuller picture. But behind a screen, we are reliant on unpracticed techniques to figure a person out and our brains haven’t been able to build up enough data in order to spot a friend or foe without these physical interactions.

      Why the Internet Isn’t What It Seems

      Most people have put their stamp on the internet in the form of a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or dating profile and almost everyone is guilty of filtering, photoshopping or adjusting their pictures in some way. In most cases it’s harmless. We often exaggerate our hobbies and interests in order to make ourselves appear better to others. Again this can be a subconscious thing and quite innocent because we all want to build a unique and interesting image in order to attract people.

        However, we all know there are people out there that bend the truth when it comes to their profiles which can be hard to spot. Their life seems almost perfect with their top education, multilingual skills and high-earning job. Can this really be true? How can you trust that it’s a genuine person?

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        How to Spot out Liars in a Digital World

        Building relationships online is a great way of meeting new people and most of the time it’s not all bad. Being cautious, however, is a must because you don’t have these instinctive verbal or physical clues that you’d normally work from.

        Having the skills to decode a person’s personality, sincerity and veracity on the other side of a screen is down to getting a feel for the person and making educated guesses.

          Educated guesses is an open-minded yet cautious way to go about getting to know someone you may not see in person. If you find yourself building a relationship online:

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          1. Make a few guesses first. From what you see, try to find both positive and negative sides to them. This will help keep a balanced view without the truth bias kicking in straight away. Look at the overall person, not just what they tell you or what another person tells you about them.
          2. Do an internet search on them. This may appear like stalking but it’s helpful to make sure their different profiles show consistency across the board. This includes consistency of information as well as personality in terms of what they share or how they interact.
          3. Look for evidence that all information aligns. Look back on your initial guesses about the person and see if they match up (or don’t match up) with any of the information you’ve gathered. After weighing it out, you should be able to see if the evidence supports one guess over the other.

          When assessing someone online, you need to be logical instead of relying on instinct which serves us best when we see someone face-to-face. Having a more logical approach will negate the tendency to allow the truth bias to override and therefore reduce the vulnerability of being deceived.

          Next time you meet someone online, take a step back and allow yourself to be cautious. While it’s good to trust others, be aware of the truth bias we all tend to use when interacting with others and make sure you don’t make yourself vulnerable to the scammers.

          Reference

          [1] Sheriff McDonnell and Cyber Investigators: Love Hurts: A Forum and Discussion on Online Dating Safety

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          Anna Chui

          Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the Chief Editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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          Last Updated on March 17, 2020

          4 Simple Ways to Make Boring Work Become Interesting

          4 Simple Ways to Make Boring Work Become Interesting

          Are you bored at work right now?

          Sitting at your desk, wishing you could be anywhere other than here, doing anything else…?

          You’re not alone.

          Even when you have a job you love, it’s easy to get bored. And if your job isn’t something you’re passionate about, it’s even easier for boredom to creep in.

          Did you know it’s actually possible to make any job more interesting?

          That’s right.

          Whether it’s data entry or shelf stacking, even the most mind-numbing of jobs can be made more fun.

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          Understanding the science behind boredom is the first step to beating it.

          Read on to learn the truth about boredom, and what you can do to stop feeling bored at work for good.

          VIDEO SUMMARY

          I’m bored – as you’re watching the same film over and over again, even though it’s your favorite one

          When you experience something new, your brain releases opioids – chemicals which make you feel good. [1]

          It’s the feeling you might get when you taste a new food for the first time, watch a cool new film, or meet a new person.

          However, the next time you have the same experience, the brain processes it in a different way, without releasing so many feel-good chemicals.

          That’s why you won’t get the same thrill when you eat that delicious meal for the tenth time, rewatch that film again, or spend time with the same friend.

          So, in a nutshell, we get bored when we aren’t having any new experiences.

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          Now, new experiences don’t have to be huge life changes – they could be as simple as taking a different route to work, or picking a different sandwich shop for lunch.

          We’re going to apply this theory to your boring job.

          Keep reading find out how to make subtle changes to the way you work to defeat boredom and have more fun.

          Your work can be much more interesting if you learn these little tricks.

          Ready to learn how to stop feeling so bored at work?

          We’ve listed some simple suggestions below – you can start implementing these right now.

          Let’s do this.

          Make routine tasks more interesting by adding something new

          Sometimes one new element is all it takes to turn routine tasks from dull to interesting.

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          Maybe there’s a long drive you have to make every single week. You get so bored, going the same old route to make the same old deliveries.

          Why not make it a routine to create a playlist of new music each Sunday, to listen to on your boring drive during the week?

          Just like that, something you dread can be turned into the highlight of your day.

          For other routine tasks, you could try setting a timer and trying to beat your record, moving to a new location to complete the task, or trying out a new technique for getting the work done – you might even improve your productivity, too.

          Combine repetitive tasks to get them out of the way

          Certain tasks are difficult to make interesting, no matter how hard you try.

          Get these yawn-inducing chores out of the way ASAP by combining them into one quick, focused batch.

          For example, if you hate listening to meeting recordings, and dislike tidying your desk, do them both at the same time. You’ll halve the time you spend bored out of your mind, and can move onto more interesting tasks as soon as you’re done.

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          Break large tasks into small pieces and plan breaks between them

          Feeling overwhelmed can lead you to procrastinate and get bored. Try breaking up large tasks into lots of small pieces to keep things manageable and fun.

          Try breaking up a 10,000 word report into 1000-word sections. Reward yourself at the end of each section, and you’ll get 10 mini mood boosts, instead of just one at the end.

          You can also plan short breaks between each section, which will help to prevent boredom and keep you focused.

          Give yourself regular rewards, it can be anything that makes you feel good

          Make sure you reward yourself for achievements, even if they feel small.

          Rewards could include:

          • Eating your favourite snack.
          • Taking a walk in a natural area.
          • Spending a few minutes on a fun online game.
          • Buying yourself a small treat.
          • Visiting a new place.
          • Spending time on a favourite hobby.

          Your brain will come to associate work with fun rewards, and you’ll soon feel less bored and more motivated.

          Boredom doesn’t have to be a fact of life.

          Make your working life feel a thousand times more fun by following the simple tips above.

          Reference

          [1] Psychology Today: Why People Get Bored

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