Lying Or Putting On A New Face Essays Examples

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: People, Lying, Lie, World, Dishonesty, Identity, Literature, Acceptance

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Published: 2021/03/26

It is virtually impossible for anyone to be the same person at all times. Men and women lie, impersonate, don a mask and hide behind a false persona or multiple personas to get away from problems, people or reality. It could be a conscious decision or a natural behavior from having done it for far too long. Jonathan Koppell’s essay, On the Internet, There's No Place to Hide and Stephanie Ericsson’s The Ways We Lie talk about how people try to hide behind their real selves and lie for various reasons. Koppell’s essay is on the internet-how its growth has changed how people express or choose to show themselves online, of people assuming false identities, the erosion of privacy and how the need for personal data by big companies has made anonymity a valued commodity. The essays are about the advantages of remaining anonymous and maintaining a facade to get on with life and thus there is no moralizing but only an analysis of why people lie and the advantages of doing so. Although life in the online and in the real world are different the lies and the deceptions spill over to both the world. The authors maintain that the lies and the assumption of a different identity affect the person who indulges in it as well as the person who is being subjected to it. The essays are thus a question into the acceptance of dishonesty and if not being oneself is lying or just putting on a new face.
Both authors talk about not being themselves in the real world and in the online world in order to be safe and get away from small and big inconveniences in life. The two topics that the essays touch upon-lying and assuming a false identity is well brought out in the television series-catfish. Assuming a false identity, putting on another face and lying about the real self may have benefitted the person who indulged in the activities. But it has some serious repercussions for people on the other end. Even though it is an online relationship people tend to form emotional bonds and when it is obvious that the whole relationship had been a sham, people are hurt. It damages their trust and makes them question everything that they had believed in. Koppell talks about maintaining another identity online and giving freedom to the imagination. It is definitely a liberating feeling to be someone else but as Ericsson points out in her essay it definitely changes your perspective on people. She says“How much do we tolerate before we become sick and tired of being sick and tired?” and “When will we declare our right to trust? (Ericsson 129).” She understands that lying affects the other person and it changes how people view one another. Constant lying on someone’s part may make them prone to disbelieving others and she wonders if she should stop lying so she could trust people more. She defends lying by classifying them into functional lies and living a lie. Functional lies for her leads to a more comfortable existence while living a lie tears apart the moral fabric of the society. Koppell too thinks it is okay to maintain a false pretense if it would save you from unwanted solicitations and investigations.
Both the authors use facts from real life to drive home their point. They employ first person narrative to connect with their readers. Koppell subtly talks about maintaining a minimal level of true self online to prevent oneself while Ericsson talks about how the different kinds of lying hurts and as well helps everyone involved. Koppell details how the government could take you for a subversive if you were to search for the wrong things or if you were to be stupid enough to search for material that would give away your identity. He also talks about the erosion of privacy on the internet as more and more companies are out there looking for people’s personal data to target them as a customer. Ericsson’s article is more in depth and she uses a lot of quotes and personal anecdotes to talk about how lying affects everyone. Before describing the different kinds of lie people employ in their lives, she starts off with a quote by a famous person. The quote is then followed by a description of the kind of lie and a personal anecdote. The different personal stories serve to be effective in making her readers think from both the position of the liar and the person being lied to. Koppell uses his arguments effectively to convince the reader that a bit of tweaking with the identity is not a bad thing if it helps them while Ericsson questions the validity of lying although she does admit that lying or the use of white lies does make life simpler. Both the articles are written from a personal perspective of the authors. ‘I'll call it’ , ‘Call me naive but’, and ‘I call it’ (Koppell) are instances where Koppell reveals that what he writes are his own personal views on the subject. The use of the person person narrative in his article tells his reader that his ideas are his own and its adds legitimacy to what he says. He is not quoting others and later substantiating it his ideas but rather states his ideas directly and that makes the reader more responsive to his ideas. It makes the ideas as well as the article that much more original. Ericsson uses famous quotes to talk about her ideas. It is as if she uses her personal anecdotes to substantiate her belief in the quotes and explain it to the reader. However, it does not make her article any less original. It only makes the article more personal and more trustworthy. Thus both the authors use facts, anecdotes and their original ideas to drive home their point. The reader is tempted to take both the opinions seriously because of the tactics the authors use to explain their ideas about these topics. The effectiveness of both the essays lie in the fact that it comes across as honest and not as situations or ideas that have been fabricated.
Both the articles raise the question over the acceptance of dishonesty. While Koppell’s article would convince the reader that maintaining a false identity is not all that bad, Ericsson’s article would make a reader question how much lying affects their expectations of honesty from other people. She says acceptance of lies and dishonest behavior has become such an integral part of the society that it has become a ‘cultural cancer’. It is so prevalent that it makes the moral garbage invisible. Dishonesty in the online world is an acceptable behavior for Koppell because a few false information here and there is what would save the user from being a victim of identity theft or a victim of over-marketing. His justification for dishonesty seems to be that it is something necessary. If the companies and the government would employ dishonest and covert means to get hold of a person’s personal data , there is nothing wrong in that person using a false identity to protect himself. If being honest about the personal profile does not get a person friends in the online world, a little imagination and the donning of another identity or a mask to make more friends is not all that bad. Since Koppell’s article is in the form of us against them he does not really give importance to the effects of dishonesty on individuals. Rather he talks about how dishonesty could save an online user from many things. Ericsson’s article however is about the effects of dishonesty on a personal level. She talks about how it is accepted and how that acceptance erodes the trust people have in one another. Even while talking about the advantages of lying or being someone else with different people, she also raises the question of how it ultimately affects both the liar and the person lied to. By lying and being lied to people are becoming more cynical and untrustworthy for mostly our actions are a reaction to our thoughts as well as a reaction to other people. Acceptance of deception has become so widespread in the online world that there is a genuine possibility that it would soon become normal for people not to trust anyone.
Is being dishonest lying or putting on a new face? This is the question that both the authors try to answer in their respective essays. Koppell takes a definitive stand when it comes to dishonesty, it is acceptable to him as he deals exclusively about the online world in his essay. He says that the companies and the internet try to bracket people into specific groups, based on their race, religion, age or preferences getting away from what the original intent of the internet was. In such a scenario, not revealing everything online would serve a better purpose of not helping the bracketing process. Even though a loss of personal data is inevitable a person can do his or her best to minimize the damages by not being entirely honest. Ericsson talks about the various types of lying and even goes on to list out the advantages of lying. But intercepted with her anecdotes about getting away with things by lying are also true stories about how lying by omission or deluding oneself about the facts is harmful to not only the liar but also the people who are being lied to. She does not take a stance. Rather she leaves an open ended question to the reader and lets the reader come to a conclusion about what lying does. The internet and the world at large makes it quite conducive to lie and even encourage it at times. It is at times easier to lie and get away with things than deal with the repercussions that being honest brings. There is not much difference between the online world and the real world. Just as people would put on masks in the real world they assume identities on the online world for a variety of reasons. There is just a thin line that differentiates lying from trying to be someone else for personal reasons. Each time someone is being dishonest, be it about their looks, their job or their lifestyle they are creating a chain reaction that would be difficult to break. One lie would lead to another as the expectation created out of the first lie would remain. It alters relationships for good. Deception no matter for what reason it is being practiced is still deception and the liars have only themselves to blame for whatever happens as a result of the lie or deception. Acceptance by the society does not also make it right as put forth by both the essays.

Works Cited

Ericsson, Stephanie. “The Ways We Lie”. n.d. Web. 21 April 2015.
Koppell, Jonathan. “On the Internet, There’s no Place to Hide”.19 June 2000. Web. 21 April 2015.

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