Do We Trust Computers More Than Real People?

I heard someone say something really mind-boggling the other day on television. She said adamantly that she trusted computers much more than she trusted real people. At first, I said WHAT? But then I started reflecting on the idea that maybe given the nature of our technological culture when we are always on our computers and we have hundreds of Facebook friends that this is perhaps not such a farfetched idea.

On the surface, to say that we trust computers more than people is to say that we don’t trust people. You don’t need a doctorate to figure out that people are not trustworthy in their dealings with others. Unfortunately, some people will do anything to cheat or lie. And when they are quiet and there doesn’t seem to be much happening, people are even more nervous. That is certainly the way our political world is unfolding.

This kind of social anxiety that is caused by our modern world has taken more than a few sinister turns in the last while. We seem to have a lot on our plates in our modern world. A harmful skepticism and pessimism has taken over the world. Or is it harmful? Perhaps it is realistic enough, given the nature of our world. We can’t seem to trust anyone, not even among our closest friends and relatives.

People who are trusting are usually regarded as naïve or gullible. And people who are in the mainstream will do anything to reduce our naïve natures into shreds of poisonous dealings and difficulties. So, maybe we should not trust people as much as we do and always be very careful when it comes to disclosing any intimate details of our lives.

But here is the problem that I see in being suspicious of everyone. We will cut ourselves off from any kind of meaningful interaction with anyone. This is because we can’t possibly truly connect with another person if we are always wondering if the person is going to destroy us. But this doesn’t mean that we must be completely naïve either.

I believe it is possible for us to live as an optimistic pessimist. Such a person is naturally optimistic but is also careful with her dealing with others. The person also relies on her intuition to assess whether or not to trust a person. That is one way to avoid being hurt and possibly destroyed by people who are out to harm.

But what if we can’t hear our intuitions? What if we have been so addicted to the media that we have forgotten to keep developing who we truly are and being authentic as much as this possible? Perhaps we can’t even recognize ourselves anymore because we are so unconscious.

Well, perhaps if we are feeling this way the lady’s statement above may be correct. Perhaps we can only trust computers and not people because we no longer know who we truly are and what makes us tick. I believe this is the biggest danger to our modern world, to disappear into the world of technology to such an extent that we no longer know who we are.