Butler lies from both sides: Actions and perceptions of unavailability management in texting

Lindsay Reynolds*, Madeline E. Smith, Jeremy P Birnholtz, Jeff Hancock

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

In an always-connected world, managing one's unavailability for interaction with others can be as important and difficult as coordinating mutual availability. Prior studies have identified the butler lie, a linguistic strategy commonly used to manage unavailability, and examined message-level data to examine how message senders' use of butler lies varies across media and situations. This study is the first to examine how butler lies are perceived by those who receive them. Pairs of student participants provided messages sent to each other in real conversations and indicated whether these messages were deceptive or not. These messages were then passed to the partner, who indicated perceived deception and provided an explanation. Results suggest that participants expect butler lies regularly although not as often as they are actually produced, and participants are not very accurate in identifying butler lies. Moreover, detailed analysis of messages and explanations suggests that butler lies play a relational role that is expected by both parties in a dialog.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCSCW 2013 - Proceedings of the 2013 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work
Pages769-778
Number of pages10
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 18 2013
Event2013 2nd ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW 2013 - San Antonio, TX, United States
Duration: Feb 23 2013Feb 27 2013

Other

Other2013 2nd ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW 2013
CountryUnited States
CitySan Antonio, TX
Period2/23/132/27/13

Keywords

  • Availability management
  • Butler lies
  • SMS
  • Texting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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