The Ways We Lie by Stephanie Ericsson
In Stephanie Ericsson’s essay The Ways We Lie, she describes the way we tell lies on a daily basis depending on the situation at hand. Ericsson describes ten specific ways of lying that she believes are common in today’s society. Those types of lies are: the white lie, facades, ignoring the plain facts, deflecting, omission, stereotypes and clichés, groupthink, out-and-out lies, dismissal, and delusion. Ericsson also mentioned in her article that society lies to exaggerate, minimize, avoid confrontation, or to spare people’s feelings. But Ericsson’s real point is that it is impossible in today’s society to live without resorting to lies on a daily basis.
As Ericsson states in the article, one type of lying commonly used are stereotype and cliché, which serves a purpose as a form of shorthand and are lies of exaggeration, omission, and ignorance. As Ericsson puts it, the stereotype explains a situation with just enough truth to seem unquestionable. Our need for large amounts of information in nanoseconds has made the stereotype vital to modern communication. Furthermore, Ericsson describes this type of lie as shutting down original thinking, giving those hungry for the truth, misinformation instead of balanced facts. An example of this type that Ericsson stated, the single mother on welfare is assumed to be cheating. We have experienced stereotypes in one way or another, moreover this type creates prejudice and closed minds.
However, Ericsson’s account of how we lie has even more important and larger implications about the status of truth in contemporary American life. Today’s society has a habit of passing judgment on other people based off of existing stereotypes that have been placed on a particular group, in addition stereotypes cause us to characterize another person by their class, it encourages prejudice, and can create racial tensions. In a recent article “Speech, Lies and Apathy” by...