Tech & Work

The Weekly Round-Up: Lying on Twitter and piles of iPhone problems

Plus tips for CIOs on how to butter up the CEO...

The social web is an unstoppable and revolutionary moment in the history of human communication.

That's if you believe any of the millions of social media consultants who have popped up in the past few years. Personally the Round-Up doesn't and neither should you, especially if they sidle up to you on Twitter.

That is because research has proved that pretty much everyone making use of social media is a lying liar who lies all the time.

Research from insurance firm Direct Line out this month found that people are more likely to be dishonest when chatting using technology, such as Twitter, than they would be face to face.

Just one in five people professes to being more truthful on Twitter or text, compared with just under a third who state they are more frank when speaking to someone in the flesh.

Men are the absolute worst cowardly liars, according to the research. Only 17 per cent of men are more honest via text and tweet, although women are only slightly better on 21 per cent.

More surprising is the news that women are less likely to be truthful in person than men, with 12 per cent more men claiming to be honest face-to-face than women.

Psychologist Glenn Wilson said: "Modern technologies, such as smartphones, social networking and instant messaging have been hailed as innovations in the way people interact, removing obstacles to conversation and allowing for openness of discourse."

Or, as the Round-Up likes to think of it, allows people to share the details of their breakfasts or the abject misery of their Tube delays in 140 characters or fewer.

"However," Wilson continued, "we sometimes use these means of communication rather than a face-to-face encounter or a full conversation when we want to be untruthful, as it is easier to fib to someone when we don't have to deal with their reactions or control our own body language."

The moral of the story: never believe a word anyone tweets unless you can see the whites of their eyes.

And never, ever, believe a social media consultant unless you've got one strapped to a polygraph...

Other news on silicon.com this week: an article on everything you need to know to suck up to your boss - or to give it its full title: What CIOs need to know to get cosy with the CEO.

Yes, with all this economic uncertainty, there's never been a better time to make sure you're on the right side of the man or woman who gives your payslip the thumbs-up every month.

Among the top tips on how IT chiefs can please the CEO, courtesy of analyst house Gartner, are: bring in new technologies - the Round-Up wonders if showing off your new iPad will do the trick; ensure you make IT's contribution visible - perhaps remind the boss who recovered the data from his smartphone after he dropped it in the loo; and expect limited resources - now might be a good time to cancel the office Sky Sports subscription.

And there was the Round-Up thinking that staying on the right side of the boss just meant fetching a cappuccino every morning and not making eye contact. Check out the full story for the complete list of CEO-pleasing tips.

Finally this week, shocking research has found being an iPhone owner will keep you in the toilet longer. Bet you won't see that in Apple's marketing.

Very few of us will dispute that mobile phones can be a pain in the bottom but recent research shows this observation may be true in a much more literal sense.

A survey by Mobiles Please has found that 82 per cent of smartphone owners use their devices on the throne.

Indeed, toilet touchscreen enthusiasts also spend an average of three and a half minutes longer in the lavatory than those who choose to answer nature's call, but not a call from the boss, at the same time.

According to the survey, the very worst offenders were iPhone owners. Respondents who use the Apple device spent on average one minute 40 seconds longer on the toilet than owners of any other brand.

Thankfully, toilet mobile use does have a modicum of decorum: while 17 per cent of those surveyed admitted they would take an incoming call, only eight per cent said they would make a call from the loo.

The figures were much higher for texting, with almost all those who confessed to using their phone in the toilet saying that they read and sent texts.

Less than one per cent of respondents said they had made a video call from the toilet. Take a second to think about that: on one hand, thankfully, it's small number. On the other, somewhat troublingly, it is a number greater than zero - something worth bearing in mind when you get an incoming FaceTime request.

Top bottom expert Dr Stephanie DeGiorgio said: "Sitting on any cold, hard surface for a prolonged period can increase your chances of haemorrhoids, so as tempting as it may be to finish that level of Angry Birds before you get off the toilet, you really should finish your business and go and do it somewhere more comfortable."

So there. The Apple iPhone may have sold 14.1 million units in the past three months and boasts a huge range of features, but there may be a painful price to pay.

The Round-Up is pretty sure that in this case there certainly isn't an app for that but thankfully there is a cream...

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