LIFT08 Notes: Genevieve Bell, Intel, do our digital worlds require secrets and (white) lies?

Genevieve is an ethnographer looking at digital culture and the necessity of “lying”

45%5 of mobile users have lied about wherabouts in sms
100% of online daters lie about height or weight

James Katz says entering arms race of digital deception she locked herself out of flickr because she lied about her age and forgot which lie she told what might an ethnographic intervention yield here?

telling lies is always bad, most religions and legal systems are against lying but keeping and telling secrets is more ambiguous, and white lies are okay in some cases

hindu proverb “any number of lies is okay as long as the wedding still happens” we tell somewhere btw 6-200 lies a day some theorists argue that lying is necessary part of surviving daily life notion that all info should be equal and avail to all is a new concept are icts succeeding in part bc they facilitate our lying ways or because lies are needed to keep us safe.

Israeli researchers find that online deception appears to be an enjoyable activity. guild, fear, shame largly absent newer technology arriving that can’t help but tell the truth.

Do secrets and lies offer new ways to think about privacy and security. do our digital worlds require secrets and lies?

My reaction: Fascinating question for social media. We often argue that transparency and accountability are naturally beneficial to efficiency and effectiveness of organizations.

Sure, organizations tell lies or at lest partial truths all the time. (Sometimes it’s called marketing)

But are there other little white lies (not to mention secrets) that are essential keeping a company going?

Most social networking is also about self marketing as well.

Perhaps enabling benevolent/harmless “lies” is a key and subtle but important factor in the success of any social media?

  • > But are there other little white lies (not to mention secrets) that are essential keeping a company going?

    I just read an article describing doctors and pharmaceutical companies inventing more and more diseases with the intention to sell more pharmaceuticals. Shyness, Intermittent Explosive Disorder, relationship problems… There are big lies and secrets, not just in marketing. In the US they have a lot more diseases than we have in Germany. 😉

  • > But are there other little white lies (not to mention secrets) that are essential keeping a company going?

    I just read an article describing doctors and pharmaceutical companies inventing more and more diseases with the intention to sell more pharmaceuticals. Shyness, Intermittent Explosive Disorder, relationship problems… There are big lies and secrets, not just in marketing. In the US they have a lot more diseases than we have in Germany. 😉

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