Reynolds, L., Gillette, S., Marder, J., Miles, Z., Vodenski, P., Weintraub, A., Birnholtz, J., & Hancock, J.T. (2011). Contact stratification and deception: blackberry messenger versus SMS use among students. Proceedings of the ACM conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW 2011), 221-224. [Acceptance rate: 22%]


The proliferation of communication technology has led to potential stratification of contacts across different media, which has important implications for interpersonal dynamics, such as deception. The present study examines how two text-based communication media, BBM and SMS, involve different kinds of social contact networks, and how these differences lead to changes in the frequency and nature of lies. The results reveal that BBM social contacts are relationally closer and include more friends but fewer family and acquaintances than SMS. More deception was also observed in BBM, which included more lies about managing social interactions. The results have important implications for the impact of design features, such as PIN exchange, in text messaging.