Telling Tall Tales on Twitter and Text

Oct 22, 2010, 04:00 ET from Direct Line

LONDON, October 22, 2010 /PRNewswire/ --

- New Research Shows That People are More Likely to Hide the Truth Behind Modern Technology

Social networking site Twitter has been hailed as a revolution in communication but it seems that conversing in the bite-size chat room may not be as straightforward as it seems, according to the 'Straight Talking Report' from Direct Line*.

The 'Straight Talking Report' found that people are more likely to be dishonest when chatting using technology, such as Twitter, than they would be face to face. Just one in five people (20 per cent) profess to being more truthful on Twitter or text, compared to a third (31 per cent) who state that they are more frank when speaking to someone in the flesh.

It might not surprise women that men are less likely to be honest via text than themselves (17 per cent of men compared to 21 per cent of women), as texting appears to have played a part in recent male celebrity scandals. Perhaps more surprising is the fact that women are less likely to be truthful in person than men, with 12 per cent more men claiming to be honest face to face than women.

Psychologist Glenn Wilson said: "Modern technologies, such as smartphones, social networking and instant messaging have been hailed as innovations in the way people interact, removing obstacles to conversation and allowing for openness of discourse. However, we sometimes use these means of communication rather than a face-to-face encounter or a full conversation when we want to be untruthful, as it is easier to fib to someone when we don't have to deal with their reactions or control our own body language."

Matt Owen, spokesperson for Direct Line, said: "Having lots of friends and not enough time to see them can lead to an over-reliance on social networks and technology to keep in touch. However, this research shows that if you want to get the truth from someone, face to face is the best way to get a straight answer."

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Notes to editors

About the research

* Opinium Research carried out an online poll of 2,012 British adults from 3rd -7th June 2010 for Direct Line

Direct Line

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.

Direct Line is part of RBS Insurance, the second largest general insurer in the UK and is wholly owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland Group. Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling +0845-246-3761 (motor) or +0845-246-3564 (home) or visiting

Direct Line Insurance plc is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Registered office: 3 Edridge Road, Croydon, Surrey CR9 1AG. Registered in England and Wales no. 01810801. The Financial Services Authority's Register can be accessed through

SOURCE Direct Line