I've seen too many situations where people would have been hurt, badly, lost jobs and other things if a white lie had not been told. I didn't see harm coming from the white lies either.
White lies are why I try to keep as many precepts as I can, but don't consider myself as having committed to them. I couldn't make that commitment with full honesty.
Same with idle chatter, is social glue. There are going to be times where I am going to talk when it isn't a practical necessity.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.