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Seen At 11: Telling Tough Truths May Be Easier Via Text

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- If you want a truthful answer from someone you may want to ask the question via text message.

New research has shown that people are willing to be more honest when texting or emailing than when speaking out loud, CBS 2's Andrea Grymes reported Friday.

It may be tough to tell a friend that you don't like their haircut face-to-face, but apparently people don't have a problem breaking tough news in a text message.

"People are writing longer texts, sharing more information," explained Dr. Scott Bea of the Cleveland Clinic.

That information tends to be more truthful, according to a new study done by the University of Nebraska. The study found that nearly 80 percent of texters were more likely to express their feelings honestly in a text as opposed to in person.

That information did not come as a surprise to many people.

"I'm a school teacher and I see kids are a lot more comfortable telling you things written down than they are verbally," one person said.

The study was published in The Social Science Journal. It found that more than 60 percent of people claim to rarely lie in a text message. About half of the people said that they are more likely to be rude via text than in person.

"While it may not be ideal and it may erode over time our ability to converse face-to-face, it's here to stay and I think people are making use of it for all sorts of reasons," Dr. Bea said.

Bea, a psychologist, said that texting and emailing are helping to create better connections between people, especially family members.

"I think smart adults are using it as a vehicle to communicate with their kids. Their kids are certainly going to use this as a vehicle to communicate with them, so I think most of us in the culture are kind of getting up to speed that this is a way that we communicate now," Dr. Bea explained.

Participants in the study said that they typically respond to family texts within five minutes and that they text their mother most often.

Women in particular credited texting for increasing connectivity and enhancing relationships between family members.

Another reason that more families are communicating via text is that about 1 in 5 families no longer have landlines.

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