Skip to main content

Text Messaging: Encouraging Lying And Cheating

A new study claims that text messaging, and having smartphones in general, is promoting a lying and cheating culture when it comes to our youngsters - because mobiles make doing so, easier.

The study focussed on college students, and found that text messages led to increased feelings of distrust. 95 per cent said they felt more deceived in a conversation, via text, than a video chat and 31 per cent more deceived by texts, than a face-to-face chat.

That's not surprising given that text is a very cold way of communicating, and there's no body language or eye contact involved. Although quite why video chatting was seen as effectively more trustworthy, than talking face-to-face, we're not sure.

Voice inflection, too, is a major facet of conversation that texting lacks, and 18 per cent said they felt more deceived by texts than phone calls.

With texting, you can also plan out what to say in advance, which can't really happen in a natural conversation (or not to the same extent, anyway), making fibbing easier via text.

Perhaps most worrying, though, are the figures recorded for students cheating using their handsets. 35 per cent admitted to using their phone to cheat at school, and 65 per cent said they'd seen others doing so, suggesting the true numbers of phone cheats are much higher than a third.

Students cheated by storing crib sheets on their phone, using the internet to find answers, or texting others to swap answers.

The research concludes: "Whether or not cell phones really lead to increased lying and cheating, we do know that by removing the temptation in the classroom, we can avoid the problem altogether!"