Whether you choose to call it lying or embellishing, the temptation to present as more successful, as stronger, as happier than you truly are is natural. So natural in fact that you can see it all over the animal kingdom, with the humble hoverfly employing the stripes of their scarier counterparts; wasps. This natural impulse, in the technology age is leading even those of us who may better present as harmless to display their yellow and black coats all over the internet.
In a recent survey, only 32% of people said they were always honest online, with over exaggerations and fibs regarding relationships, careers and happiness being the most commonplace. However, whilst stories about great selfless deeds and amazing workplace feats used to be met by praise, they are now picked apart, dissected and often found to be untrue.
Twitter account, StateofLinkedIn curates the most blatant of the lies and brags found on the professional network, inviting people to revel in their ridiculousness. Their large following of 125k followers is proof that people are sick of over exaggerated achievements and images which ‘subtly’ crowbar expensive possessions unnecessarily into posts.
Lucy Loveridge, Global Head of Talent at Gleam Futures, says that “creators on social media originally became successful because the audiences found someone they could relate to”, however a large majority of users, particularly those on LinkedIn, have lost sight of this. With almost ¼ of UK workers admitting to lying to others about their job (25pc of male respondents, 1/5th of female respondents) those attempting to elevate their status through embellishment could actually be alienating themselves, rather than gaining the recognition they crave.
“The people who post nothing are probably people who have a lot of things to brag about” – Michelle Drouin, Psychologist
The lies we tell, the perfect lives we pretend to have online are linked to a growth in depression, the loneliness epidemic, even demand for plastic surgery and it turns out that with people like StateofLinkedIn on the case, the only person we’re fooling is ourselves.
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