tech

Why Technology Changes Who We Trust

Trust is the foundation of all human connections. From brief encounters to intimate relationships, it governs almost every interaction we have with each other. I trust my housemates not to go into my room without asking, I trust the bank to keep my money safe and I trust the pilot of my plane to fly safely to the destination.

Rachel Botsman describes trust as “a confident relationship with the unknown.” The bridge that allows us to cross from a position of certainty to one of uncertainty and move forward in our lives.

Throughout history, trust has been the glue that allowed people to live together and flourish in cooperative societies. An absence, loss or betrayal of trust could spark violent and deadly consequences.

In recent decades the world has witnessed a radical shift in trust. We might be losing faith in global institutions and political leaders but simultaneously millions of people are renting their homes to complete strangers on Air BnB, exchanging digital currencies like bitcoin or finding themselves trusting bots for help online. Botsman describes this shift as a new age of ‘distributed trust.’

Instead of a vertical relationship where trust flows upwards from individuals to hierarchical institutions, experts, authorities and regulators, today trust increasingly flows horizontally from individuals to networks, peers, friends, colleagues and fellow users.

If we are to benefit from this radical shift and not see a collapse of our institutions, we must understand the mechanics of how trust is built, managed, lost, and repaired in the digital age. To explain this new world, Botsman provides a detailed map of this uncharted landscape and explores what’s next for humanity.

Watch below:

And for a more detailed account listen here: https://play.acast.com/s/intelligencesquared/rachelbotsmanandhelenlewisontechnologyandtrust

 

8 comments on “Why Technology Changes Who We Trust

  1. Thanks for sharing this, Conor. An interesting new way of looking at trust, especially at this time of the growing mistrust with our government leadership.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Pingback: Why Technology Changes Who We Trust — The Conversation Room | Three Worlds One Vision

  3. important notion,
    our collective
    losing trust!
    i find it true in
    many interactions
    with others now 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Pingback: Why Technology Changes Who We Trust — The Conversation Room

  5. Thanks for the intro to Botsman’s work. She seem’s to suggest ‘reputation’ is central to this new idea of trust. From a Utopian perspective it sounds ideal, but I suspect we’re already looking at a Dystopian version.

    People and businesses have been paying people to ‘improve’ their reputations for a while now.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Of course – she’s very interesting. I would recommend listening to the podcast. Some very interesting analysis on why we trust and social media, why we believe and trust people with large followings even if they’re not very trustworthy!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Why Technology Changes Who We Trust — The Conversation Room | Guyanese Online

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