Cases online dating steam and validating
It was incredibly detailed." One thing that tends to be said about the people behind fake online personalities is that the perpetrator must be somehow "damaged" or mentally ill.But according to psychologists, it's not that simple – there are lots of reasons someone might feel the need to be someone else on the internet.
Even if there are details missing or there's something suspicious – for example, someone's webcam is always broken, or their career seems sketchy – human brains are happy to fill in the blanks."Just as we stereotype people in the physical world and immediately make judgments, I think the same thing is happening online," Short says.
We spoke to Carla, from Glasgow, who got talking to a man online who claimed to be a singer-songwriter.
They chatted for a long time and she was impressed – but then one night at a gig, she heard one of the "new songs" he'd recently sent her performed by another singer.
"But if I went to dinner with my friends or my parents I might act in a different way to reflect those different relationships. I have to present a single unitary self, and that can create all sorts of problems."Those "problems" might mean someone seeking to be something they're not to escape the shackles of their normal, ordinary self.
One study found that 88% of people spy on their exes on social media after a break-up through looking at their pictures and status updates, sometimes via a mutual friend.