Hurry, nobody is looking

Today I was driving and there’s something that I often see that I’ve always wondered about. Many commercial and fleet vehicles come with something we’re all familiar with but rarely care for, “How’s my driving? Call ###-###-####” (Those aren’t hashtags by the way.) #ThisUsedToMeanNumbers. You know there isn’t anyone calling in to say “omg! License plate XXXXXXXX is an amazing driver! He followed all the rules and signaled before he merged, give him more monies.” Realistically, that number is only called when the driver has done something wrong. Well, as it turns out, that’s exactly their purpose. If drivers feel that they are constantly being watched, then they will be mindful of their actions. The results were significant, they found a 20% reduction in claims which equated to more than 52% gained in dollars that would’ve gone to lawsuits arriving from vehicle accidents.

“The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.” – John Wooden

Are we all two different people or are we one and the same? If you knew someone was watching you 24 hours of the day, would your actions be the same as they are now or would you adjust how you behave when you believe nobody is watching? I remember when I was young I used to steal toys from a local store. It wasn’t a lot but I was willing to do it because I felt like nobody was looking. One day, my mom found these toys and asked me where I got them. My response, Grandma bought them for me. Of course my mom went and asked grandma and found me to be lying. I was scolded with a good old fashion belt and I never did it again. Even today, Just the sound of the belt splitting wind or snapping against itself causes my butt cheeks to clench up.

It is an obvious fact that most people lie and an interesting study was done where they tested the amount of lies done through email versus verbally through the phone. What’s the result? Way more people lied on the phone than they did in emails. Really? Wouldn’t it make more sense that people would lie more when they cannot see the person they are doing the deed to? That would be the case, however, emails are a record and proof of the conversations transpired whereas something verbally mentioned exists as a proof only by one person’s word. Which, rarely holds up in court. 14% lied in emails, 21% in instant messages, 27% face to face interactions, and 37% of phone calls, consisted of lies.

So why do we believe these lies? Believe it or not, it may trace back to the biology we obtained in ancient times. Imagine someone telling you that there’s a dangerous animal rustling in the bush and it turns out just to be the wind. Believing in the person caused you absolutely no harm. However, if we were to assume we were being lied to and there was an animal, it becomes a life or death situation. I’ll finish with one of the most well known lies of all time. A man once famously declared. “I did not have have sexual relations with that woman.”

 

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