That awkward moment when you’re in the middle of a fast-paced text conversation, and you go out on a limb asking to make plans with them and then they stop responding reduces us into a tear-ridden breakdown. Chances are you tell yourself they just got distracted for a sec, but it turns out they was using that time to craft a lie.
Blame a new study from Brigham Young University for the new complex you’re about to spend a lot of time talking to your therapist about. Researchers asked 100 students to respond to 30 computer-generated questions that were texted to them. They were told to make half the answers lies.
The study found it took them 10 percent longer to craft text messages that contained lies.
It’s obviously more difficult to gauge when you’re being lied to on the Internet or during text conversations because telltale signs, like shifty eyes, are not prevalent like they are in IRL situations. But that newly discovered gap in your response can be just as telling that you’re busy making up a lie.
The study’s director told Time hinted at a brave new world that could make it easier to out liars. “We are starting to identify signs given off by individuals that aren’t easily tracked by humans. The potential is that chat-based systems could be created to track deception in real-time,” said study author Tom Meservy.
Or you could just tell Ashleigh that you hate brunching with her.