Oh How We Lie

Lately I have noticed that we (yes, me too) sure tweet a lot of lies. We tweet a lot of untruths, falsehoods, fibs, fabrications, deceptions, inventions, pieces of fiction, falsifications, half-truths, exaggerations, and tall tales. Plainly, we tweet lot of crap.

Call me a skeptic BUT was that sandwich REALLY the best thing you have ever put in your mouth or did it not taste nearly as good as it looked in the picture? Was that 2.5 mile run REALLY exhilarating or would you have rather have been loafing around on the couch? Was that conference REALLY so overwhelming with goodness and inspiration or did it make you feel a little defeated and a lot insecure?

I fear we have gotten so used to making everything sound simply superb in 140 characters that we wouldn’t know the truth if it jumped up and bit us.

Today I am going to try to be different and tweet only that which is 100% true. It might not be pretty but it will be real.

Will you admit to exaggerating, falsifying, telling a tall tale, or lying on twitter?

Of course it’s not that you meant to lie you just wanted to make sure @soandso saw you giving their #randomthing some love.

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Lindsey has a sincere love for her precious dog Molly, a good red wine and the Delta Sky Club. She spends her days (and some nights) laboring to end childhood hunger at Feed the Children and to gather, equip and unleash women at IF:Gathering.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Anonymous

    *guilty* I use too many words flippantly and without really thinking about what I’m actually saying. Maybe we should start calling eachother’s bluffs?!

  • http://www.ordinarilyextraordinary.com/ amykiane

    Good thoughts Lindsey. I try to think about what I tweet before I hit the send button. A good way to judge our words no matter how they are delivered.

  • Anonymous

    I am just as guilty of “stretching the truth” sometimes. Reading 1 Peter 2:1, I am reminded that lies are not too far away from hypocrisy!

  • Carol York

    Yep, we all do it, at some point I’d say. Do you listen to Wally on WayFM? He has started a “Jesus Juke” segment, talking about people who try to turn something you say that isn’t “religious” enough against you. I think we often have a fear of that, so we stay positive, even when we don’t feel it. I’ve become a bigger fan of admitting I’m troubled/hurting/scared but still trusting that God has control. Think Psalms here…”oh woe is me, life is the pits….BUT…God is good and will see me through anything”

    Probably more answer than you were looking for, but that’s the thoughts your question triggered for me today.

  • http://twitter.com/lindseygilstrap Lindsey

    Just wanted to share that one time I tweeted about how yummy my Fage yogurt was that I was eating, when in my heart, I really was dreaming about a Fudge Brownie Sundae. I do really enjoy Fage, but it wasn’t nearly as good as a “yummy” at that moment. I am not sure if that is an exaggaeration or a lie, but it seemed to help me feel a little better at the moment about eating yogurt for dessert. :)

    • http://lindseynobles.com Lindsey Nobles

      Hilarious. Whatever works ;)

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  • http://twitter.com/BiancaJuarez Bianca Juarez

    I really did teach Parker how to do the Beyonce booty-bounce. What I didn’t say was that I WAS kinda ashamed of myself. Like, shouldn’t I teach him John 3:16 or something?!

    :)

    • http://lindseynobles.com Lindsey Nobles

      Is there a video of this dance instructional? And shouldn’t Matt be teaching him dance? Since his the one with the Just Dance 2 moves…

  • http://twitter.com/HJudeBoudreaux Jude Boudreaux CFP®

    Know what’s 100% true? I find your blog an inspiration. It’s a fresh and unique voice. I never get the sense that you’re trying to be anything other than you and that is wonderful.

    I also bought Standard Theme using your Aff link this weekend so hope you spend that money on something fun!

    • http://lindseynobles.com Lindsey Nobles

      You are too kind. And thanks for using my affiliate link! I appreciate it.

  • http://relevantbrokenness.com Marni Arnold

    I have done it – no doubt. I am one who has no shame in admitting it either.

    I am one of those who has the capability, and has to continually learn restraint, for verbally vomiting my junk on others. It’s a defense mechanism I learned a long time ago – put everything out there in the open, and then see who really sticks around to be able to handle me.

    It’s not really the best way to build relationships – so I intentionally don’t share nearly as much as I used to. However, I continue to be very honest with how I am feeling in the moment when asked (and sometimes, I just preface a conversation with…”I am just not in a good mood, I warn you.”). I will admit when I have fouled up (though it can be the biggest horse pill I have ever swallowed). I will even tell someone (that asks me) over the phone that they did indeed wake me up if they did.

    There is a distinct difference between being transparent & walking in integrity and being just plain and simply put…stupid. I’ve lived the extreme of being stupid…so I am always learning to be transparent and walk in integrity, and I exercise it on Twitter and Facebook as well (and the moments I haven’t done such, I use those as reminders to my lessons when I feel like putting on a nice, pretty mask again).

  • Anonymous

    Yep – I’m guilty of it. Honestly – I think we’re all becoming addicted to the social life. Twitter. Instagram. FB. Linkedin. It’s our world today – but or enemy is at the root. I’m sure there are many people blasting Francis Chan for shunning the social network – but I bet he’s spent more uninterrupted quality time with his loved ones over the last year. Ugh…not sure what else to say. Thanks for the critical thinking, self-reflection opportunity, Lindsey.

    • http://lindseynobles.com Lindsey Nobles

      Yeah, guilty as charged.

  • Tory

    Not sure. I’d have to look at my tweets, but, of course we all seem to tweet only one side of something. Is that lying? I can tweet how happy I am to have my husband home after 4 days at an triathlon camp, but I never tweeted during that four days of dealing with 3 kids alone and how there were some stressful moments. Besides, does anyone really want to hear that?

    I find that I am most “untruthful” in my photographs. Much like the above statement, you never see what is truly behind it, only what I wish to project.

    • http://lindseynobles.com Lindsey Nobles

      The problem with only tweeting the good half is that no one actually knows what you are really going through, they don’t really know the real you, which might not be a problem…unless you after seeking authentic community.

  • Jenni Catron

    So true, Linds. Ouch!

  • http://debbiebarnett.wordpress.com/ Deb Barnett

    I admit that I over use the word “love”… I love Indian food… I love this coffee… I love when my jeans start to feel a little loose. Well, I really do love that one. But I agree – sometimes, particularly when we’re tweeting for work or promotion… we can be a little too enthusiastic in our accolades. I think Jeremy Cowart tried to start a Truthful Tuesday theme on Twitter but it didn’t really catch on. Too bad.

  • http://twitter.com/anidolheart Grant Jenkins

    Like when people say that a song, or a movie, or someone’s guitar solo, or worship at church “melted” their “face off”. That is such a freaking lie. I’ve seen Indiana Jones & The Raiders Of The Lost Ark and I know what it looks like when someone gets their face “melted off”. And you sir/ma’am, are lying!

    • http://lindseynobles.com Lindsey Nobles

      Or like when people call each other “bro” when they are not in fact “brothers”… ;)

      • http://twitter.com/anidolheart Grant Jenkins

        See, now you’re just being a hater.

  • http://twitter.com/me_b Michelle Becker

    We forget how much power there is in our words. Thanks for the reminder.

  • http://www.jordantwatson.com Jordan Watson

    Lindsey,

    I often feel this way when I read other people’s tweets or even sometimes my own. In fact, I have unfollowed people for this reason. Still, I have written a tweet and then deleted it because of what you described in this post.

    Also, I think it depends on why you are on twitter. Some people use it strictly for information. Others for connections. While some use it just to listen to others. I use it to connect with other people and share interesting news, thoughts, and ideas. Recently, I decided to share my life with others online not just news, thoughts, and ideas. So now I try to bring my struggles to my twitter community. For example, two weeks ago I had someone make a passive aggressive comment regarding my age in a leadership position. I tweeted,

    “I struggle to extend grace to people that make passive aggressive comments about my age in regards to my leadership position in the church.”

    Got some wonderful encouraging responses. I think the more honest we can be on twitter the more authentic our online relationships will become. Thanks for this post!

  • Ken

    Good stuff…Agreed. I’ve done it.

    Most folks that use social media a lot have been advised to be positive in their tweets. It builds the number of your followers. I’ve recently changed my strategy. I’m not mean or anything, I’m more transparent. It’s meant that I don’t have as many followers. Fact is, I get pretty tired of folks that come off as incessantly happy, hip, and informed. Life isn’t perfect so I don’t tweet it to be.

    • http://lindseynobles.com Lindsey Nobles

      Yes, the key is finding the balance in positivity and reality. :)

  • http://twitter.com/katismith Kati Smith

    I looked at my Twitter feed. I must say, I have NO idea what you’re talking about. ;) I guess Twitter is just another outlet for our half-truths. I wrote about not telling the whole truth today, too. Honesty is in the air!

  • MandyThompson

    Wow. I’ve got to think about this… Hold, please, while I review my twitter-feed…

    I think I’m ok. If anything, I show a bit more enthusiasm for others’ experiences than I really feel. Flattery, maybe?? Or maybe it’s the responsibility of being in community, the “rejoicing with those who rejoice” kind of stuff… I don’t know. All I know is that there’s a bunch of Christian Creative Dreamer/Leaders that have all sort of congregated together, and we’ve gotta cheer each other on. It’s the give and take. I can’t expect to take if I’m not willing to give, right?

  • Anonymous

    Sometimes, though, I think my tweets sound way more “pious” than I really am. Who I am in real life… is it coming through in my tweets? I try to be transparent in my blog posts. But is it possible to do that in 140 characters?

    • Anonymous

      I’m not sure…

  • MandyThompson

    See? You really have gotten in my head with this… Out of curiosity, I scanned your tweets from today. The only one that seemed an exaggeration you qualified with #truth. :) Well played!

    And, while I agree that there’s pressure to perform in 140-or-less, I trust that most of us know when someone’s being crazy (“I just ate the best hamburger ever in the history of hamburgers don’t even argue with me about this”) and when someone’s being realistic (“wow. that was a surprisingly delicious hamburger, as far as hamburgers go”)… Granted, there are some crazies who actually believe their own hype, but that’s a whole other problem.

    • Anonymous

      I have been conscious of this for a few days and so I have been watching what I tweet and the enthusiasm that I infuse ;)

  • http://fishbowlmama.com Jen C

    I was thinking about this a couple of weeks ago, when I realized that while I was trying to tweet honestly, I didn’t tweet everything. So in examining why, it occurred to me that I get very frustrated with people who only tweet/facebook such negative comments. I just don’t want to be around those people in my life, so why would I want their negativity on my twitter & facebook?

    But that brought me back to being wholly honest. In my attempt to avoid spreading negativity to others, am I projecting a false sense of who I am?
    Should I tweet anyway when things aren’t going well, when in reality I just wouldn’t say anything?

    I’ve been trying to determine where my line is drawn. Am I honestly me online? And really I only want to be ME anytime.

    • Anonymous

      It’s a tough one to balance.

  • http://www.movingthroughlife.wordpress.com Jcdulaney

    So you totally busted my bubble here. And it was a HUGE bubble. Like the size of my house. Plus it got on my dinner which was completely the greatest meal I have ever cooked. EVER!
    Now I am going to ignore this because no way to I ever exagerate on twitter or facebook. Instead I am going to walk my dog which everyone considers to be the cutest dog in all of Nashville. Plus, I am going to swing by my neighbors house who just might be the best guitar player in Music City to see what he is up to. sheeesh…like anyone ever exagerates :)

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    I didn’t realize you could lie in just 140 characters? Don’t you have to make up excuses and some lame and drawn out story. Surely that would take up at least a paragraph?!

    • Lnobles

      Oh, there is room. ;)

  • http://twitter.com/joesheehan Joe Sheehan

    I’m glad you’ve said this Lindsey. Its so important. Esp. in the age of Twitter, exaggerating greatness only feeds the ego, and adds to the detractors argument that “twitter is for people who want to feel self-important”.

    Blunt reality, while muted, makes for awesome conversation too.

  • Anonymous

    Love this. Thanks for the authentic message. I would say I am guilty as well.

  • Tam

    I’m in.

  • http://twitter.com/THEjustink Justin Kirkendall

    I’m all for it- everything I tweet is truth.

  • mary kathryn tyson

    well, dang. huh. okay…i’m going to have to think on this one. that is, consider if what i’m saying really rings true for me or not. in general, i write the way that i speak – which includes being a little dramatic, but i know i’m being dramatic and i know everyone else knows it, too. on the whole, i’m a pretty straight-up person and sometimes the filter between my brain and my mouth doesn’t work.

    but can i be honest with you about something else? i have a ‘forum’ that i accidentally started hosting on my fb page during the bachelor -started it years ago, and it really was by accident when i just started making comments one night and then a lot of folks asked for it and it snowballed into a huge discussion every monday. and now? especially since i’ve joined twitter and started blogging…it just isn’t as fun anymore. yikes. first time i’ve confessed that. (does that mean i now have to do something about it? eek.)

    thanks for bringing this to light, lindsey. i’ll definitely be more thoughtful about my tweets, paying attention to what i’m saying and if it’s true.

    xo

  • Brandon Hackett

    I think this is one of the reasons I struggle with social media…it’s hard to sift through the crap and actually find things that are real. I think I can be cynical enough on my own, but with facebook and twitter and the endless amount of comments everywhere I don’t even have to try. And as a communications person, I think it makes it that much harder to tell a real story that should move people.

  • Smileykaters

    Guilty as charged. But that’s what twitter is for, isn’t it? I mean, do I really have 156 friends? No.

  • Heather Hammond

    This is interesting, Lindsey. Through twitter, we’re able to project the way we want to be seen. While I think there is room for talking about this “half-truth” idea, I think there is also room in the argument for discussing a person’s purpose for being on twitter. I’m not there to hash out my day and work through my issues. For example, my purpose is to encourage people to live healthier lives. Now, sometimes encouragment comes in the form of being honest – people relate and say “yes! I know that feeling” – but there has to be a balance on twitter. I see more people trend toward over-sharing the hard stuff in life than learning how to put up boundaries in information swapping.

    Great discussion topic!

    Thoughts?

  • http://www.kellycroy.com Kcroy

    What a great conversation starter! Agreed. We shouldn’t lie. Our online integrity is as important as real life values. But there may be a bigger lesson in accomplishing success that you may be missing. Please consider the following: Are some of the tweets, however, more in line with a goal-setting, positive-talk journal entry. Is the tweet actually bait to get you off the couch and get the run in, or have a better attitude about it the next time? Probably. There is much to be said for positive self-talk. Olympic athletes and leaders use positive self talk to get results. Maybe Tweeting overly positive comments does the same. Yep, I’m sure it does. http://www.kellycroy.wordpress.com

  • Gina

    I hate to sound boring but I have actually never tweeted a lie or exaggerated at all. Then again, I only have 100 followers. I do mind my manners since Ann Voskamp followed me. I love her.
    But I’d rather have few followers and just tell it like it is. Occasionally I would love to say things like “my husband is being a total turd today” but I refrain.
    Cheers,

  • Carol Anne

    GREATEST POST EVER!!!! In all seriousness, Twitter is another opportunity to ‘start fresh’. Most people who see you day-to-day know the authentic you. Twitter provides the outlet to be the real you, only more interesting, nicer, and funnier. I like reading all sorts of tweets. Some are fiction, some are non-fiction, some are snarky, some are depressing, some are pompous…you get the point. Keep on tweeting what ever you want. Consider yourself an author reaching an audience and give them what they want. YOU!

  • http://jeffgoins.myadventures.org Jeff Goins

    I really want to start a Twitter profile for @soandso and see if I can get #randomthing to start trending, but I’m sure someone prob already has…

  • http://LiveIntentionally.org @PaulSteinbrueck

    Hey Lindsey, great discussion! I try my best to keep it real on Twitter. Yesterday, I started the day with “Off to a rough start this morning. Did not sleep well & woke up to server problems. Trying to be an overcomer.” And last week one of my tweets included, “Just got word that Aryn puked all over the library. That makes 3 puking kids in 3 days. Jennifer & I are drawing straws for Thu & Fri.”

    While I try my best not to exaggerate or pretend everything great all the time, there is one part of my life I try to hide from Twitter… I tweet about the totally awesome and the totally awful, but I intentionally leave out the boring middle. I wish more people would. :D

    Oh, by the way, as I tweeted last week… FUNNIEST VIDEO EVER! ~~> http://bit.ly/gJ9xWg

  • Anonymous

    This was the best post ever. Well, maybe not the best. But it sure made me think. Thanks for that.

  • www.therextras.com

    You mean it? I shouldn’t trust what I read on twitter? Now I’m really bummed! And that is the FIRST lie I ever told on the internet.
    Barbara

  • Al Stewart (radioal)

    Thanks Lindsey. I’m so tired of reading about people who are “excited” about everything that is going to happen. And everything that is awesome … and amazing … and … How about just plain nice or enjoyable? Have a fun day. … I think you will

  • http://twitter.com/JoshuaMHood Josh Hood

    @lindseynobles that was the #greatest post ever! Please RT if you agree! #FB #blogpost #awesome

    Honesty is still the best policy. Thanks for the reminder.

  • http://kennysilva.net Kenny Silva

    That’s such a great point, Lindsey. I find myself prone to much more hyperbole on Twitter than I would be in real life. Everything is the most amazing thing, which in turn makes everything the least amazing thing. Thanks for pointing that out.

  • http://dougmullin.net Doug

    As I read this, I thought of Philippians 4:8. Finally, whatever things are true, whatever things are honorable, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, tweet about these things.

    Thanks for the reminder to be honest and real.

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  • http://bretpemelton.com Bret Pemelton

    My shtick with Facebook and Twitter has always been self deprecating humor. It wasn’t so much about honesty and the truth as it was going for a laugh, any laugh I could muster. But I soon noticed it was also a lot about my ego. I was always inserting myself into the post or comment. So there were times it really was just me jumping up and down yelling “look at me, look at me”.

    My problem is when I allow the humor to supercede that still small voice. I tweeted something the other night that really was funny, but only within close confides. As I hit the tweet button the guilt was instantaneous. I wrestled with my conscience for about 30 minutes, then went back and deleted it. I’ve been trying to step back and listen to that trusted small voice!

  • http://www.bloggingtheologically.com Aaron Armstrong

    Can’t say that I’ve ever thrown out a lie on Twitter (intentionally or otherwise). But perhaps I’m lying to myself?

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  • http://ichrch.com iCHRCH

    Such a great reminder of how the prevailing culture can so easily infiltrate our ‘ways’ even when we don’t want them to. Thanks for the reminder!