Despite the alarming number of us that have been duped by fake news and Russian hackers, it appears we still trust the internet. A survey of 2,000 Americans found it takes the majority of us just 20 seconds to determine if an email is safe before opening it, 28 seconds to find out if an online form is safe before inputting personal information, and half a minute to decide if a website is safe enough to make credit card purchases. This might not seem like a big deal, but a quarter of us have had personal information stolen online and one in five have been hacked. And the strange this is, we still trust technology more than we trust each other.
According to the research commissioned by an online encryption service called Echoworx, it takes people two and a half dates (so, say, about five hours) before they are comfortable revealing their full name with a potential love interest. A strange revelation, considering our full names tend to be all over social media and 30 percent of young adults meet online. What’s more, we’re only comfortable revealing our birthday three dates in. It takes four dates before we disclose where we live and six before we talk money.
But one-night-stands have nothing against the media. According to a Gallup poll last year, Americans’ trust and confidence in mass media has plummeted to its lowest level in Gallup history, with only a third of people having a “great deal” or “fair amount” of trust in the media. This is down almost 10 percent from the year prior. Gallup notes Americans trusted media the most in 1976, when the rate was at 72 percent. Results show that older Americans are more likely to trust the media, though it notes trust has attenuated among both groups.
Americans may have trouble trusting the news, but a poll from Quinnipiac University found more than half of Americans trust the news over President Donald Trump. More specifically, Democrats (86 percent) and independents (50 percent) trust the media more than Trump, while more than three-quarters of Republicans trust Trump. As they say, majority rules.
That trend is an international one. Research from the British Medical Association found that politicians are the least trusted profession, according to 88 percent of Brits, agin beating journalists (19 percent) and even bankers (29 percent).
Regardless, it’s confirmed that we’re now living in a Black Mirror society. We trust technology more than people, trust people more than the media, and trust the media more than the man who is running our country. The plus side? Playboy still has a fact-checking department.