Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, is a Harvard-trained economist, former Google data scientist, and New York Times writer, argues that much of what we thought about people has been dead wrong. The reason? People lie, to friends, lovers, doctors, surveys, and themselves.
Everybody Lies is a book that everyone needs to read who is in ministry. It will open your eyes to the social landscape we find ourselves in.
We are such great liars and this book dives into it. Seth Stephens-Davidowitz shows this in every chapter and on almost every page. What we project to the world on social media, and what we truly search don’t correlate. Personally, all the data is a little bit depressing, but it’s something that we need to be aware of.
To show this, the author states how our social worlds and our digital worlds are really “worlds” apart, “In Facebook world, it seems every young adult is at a cool party Saturday night. In the real world, most are home alone, binge-watching shows on Netflix. In Facebook world, a girlfriend posts twenty-six happy pictures from her getaway with her boyfriend. In the real world, immediate after posting this, she Googles “my boyfriend won’t have sex with me.” And, perhaps at the same time, the boyfriend watches “Great Body, Great sex, Great Blowjob.”
Everybody Lies shows our need to be honest about the lies we tell each other and ourselves. We live in a world were people are looking for perfection knowing that they don’t have it. Seth Stephens-Davidowitz states, “People lie consistently to just about everybody but they tend to be really really honest to Google. Something about that little white box people feel comfortable telling things they might not tell to anyone else and it serves as kind of a digital truth serum,”
Google is the new digital serum. Our digital lies come from posts and likes and profiles. The truth comes from searches. It’s pretty simple. If we really want to know what is going on in our society, all we have to do is look at the searches.
Everybody Lies helps us understand what we actually do, not what we want to do. It’s an eye opening book that will really surprise you. It took some time to process all the information, and how dishonest people are when it comes to their own social media accounts.
If there was one controversial book to read this year, this is it. I was constantly amazed at the data from this researcher, and I have been trying to figure out google trends ever since to try to unpack some teen data. This would be a huge asset for youth workers worldwide to see trends, and issues that students are facing in real time.