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People, place and time: The daily rhythms of deception in interpersonal text messaging


Text messaging has grown in popularity recently, particularly among young adults who regularly use texting to coordinate and communicate to maintain relationships. Little is known, however, about the relational context (i.e., to whom messages are sent) and temporal dynamics (i.e., when messages are sent) of texting. Moreover, the addition of location sharing capability to mobile communication tools has the potential to alter communication and relationship maintenance strategies, such as deception. This pape r presents an examination of text messaging, focusing on interpersonal deception and location sharing. A custom text messaging application was developed to allow for location sharing and recording of messages, which was used by 63 participants for one week. Results show that participants sent more text messages to significant others and that more of those messages included their locations . Temporal patterns of dece ption over the course of the day were observed, with late night spike s in the rate of lying, rate of butler lying, and rate sent without locations . The rate of butler lying also peaked around meal and social activity times.

M. Smith
J. Birnholtz
L. Reynolds
J.T. Hancock
International Communication Association 63rd Annual Conference, London, UK
Publication Date
June 19, 2013