Steadfast FinancesFriends Trust Friends 25% Less after Great Recession?

Friends Trust Friends 25% Less after Great Recession?

Filed in Advertising , Consumer Education 4 comments

It’s not exactly mind blowing to find that people are less trusting post Great Recession when you consider that most everyone is poorer, the stench from the political cesspool that is Washington DC grows by the day, and few people (if any) actually know what happened with all the bailout money, but what I really found surprising from the 2010 Edelman Trust Barometer is that fewer people actually trust their friends than they did two years ago.

I get that fiscal pain has a tendency to cause everyone to become skeptical, fact checking machines, but what I find intriguing is that why would you begin to distrust your friends and peers?

  • Is it because friends simply regurgitate the same information that you see on mainstream news that you dismiss as biased or nonsense?
  • Are you so jaded that you simply don’t trust anyone but your closest circle of friends, your smartest colleagues, and most intimate of confidants?
  • Could the trustworthy bonds once formed via social media aren’t as trustworthy as you once knew (perceived) them to be?

I mean, we all know that “faux news” with politically slanted agendas (from both sides of the isle) isn’t exactly what one could call trustworthy, and these days, it takes a web savvy eye to discern when a popular social media user is sending a genuine tweet versus a sponsored tweet (i.e. Kim Kardashian making $10,000 per sponsored tweet), but could the rise of “tainted information” be partially to blame?

Knowing this, is it really all that surprising to find that we’re so skeptical that we only trust 1 out of 4 of our friends/peers, or is it that we’re simply less trusting across the board due to economic distress?

Graphic via

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Posted by CJ   @   9 February 2010 4 comments
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Feb 9, 2010
11:38 pm

Trust has definitely been thrown out the window when someone is just trying to survive. It’s tough out there for sure!

Feb 10, 2010
7:00 am

Looking at it from an entirely different direction, how much of the decline in trust owes to the recesssion, and how much of it was already in progress before the downturn began?

I believe the cavalcade of crime shows, putting the worst elements of society on display, has more to do with it. When I was a kid crime shows were about bank robbers and counterfeiters, now there all about serial murders and psycho rapists. The way many people immerse themselves in those shows, is it any wonder that trust for neighbors, coworkers and even family and friends is on the decline?

The six o’clock daily murder and mayhem “news programs” only add to it. We are what we put into our heads!

Feb 10, 2010
12:26 pm
#3 Matt SF :

I think there is something to that. You could probably consider today’s TV content the opposing side of a swinging pendulum considering that the 50s through 70s TV content only showed the goody goody type things (e.g. Leave it to Beaver or Brady Bunch).

One of the better theories on cultural happiness I read a few months ago postulated that since “reality shows” don’t offer positive escapism that mass media used to offer, it’s making us more unhappy. A sort of, if you show people negative things, they’ll have negative thoughts. Sounds relatively difficult to prove, but an interesting dinner conversation nonetheless.

Feb 10, 2010
12:15 pm
#4 Matt SF :

That’s a fair point Mike. Obama’s numbers are way down, and even die hard supporters from 2008 are being very harsh as of late. Guess that’s what happens when you over promise and under deliver.

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