Who do you trust? Who can you trust? With happenings in Auckland, New Zealand mayoral politics recently, the NSA spying, and other revelations, we find ourselves in interesting times. With the invasive growth of social media we live in a world of increasing transparency. Corporates and Governments which have thrived on sharing only what they think people need to know are losing that battle.
I’ve been reading article in The Futurist by Rolf Jensen, Chief Imagination Officer (I like that title!) of Dream Company in Denmark who compares today’s society to the first Renaissance. Gutenberg’s Press accelerated the spread of new ideas, and the golden age sprung out of the middle ages where much of the world was controlled by a religious hierarchy.
We have a similar break-up to political hierarchy’s now, particularly in but not limited to the Middle East and Europe, and like the Gutenberg Press, Social Media is now making important information available to the masses, most significantly in real time. This means that it isn’t possible for governments and corporations to use smoke and mirrors quite so much. With trending information, we can see right past the kaleidoscopic obfuscation to what is really going on.
Here are some interesting statistics that Rolf shared in his article in The Futurist:
- From Pew Research: In the 1960’s 75% of the US public trusted their Government. In 2010 the result was 25%!
- The European barometer polled UK voters in 2005 and found a trust level of only 34%. In 2012 that was down to 21%.
- CEO’s of large corporations are trusted by 45% of the US population (almost double the number that trust their politicians, that’s positive isn’t it?)
- Gallop says that teachers are trusted by 84%. That’s great news isn’t it. What a shame they get one of the smallest parts of the budget!
Back to social media though, what we are doing is finding groups of people that we do trust and building a new society. We’re sharing knowledge and information in countless ways that have immediacy.
As an example, in my new eBook, Buying a House – Using Real Estate Apps, Maps and Location Based Services, I speak a lot about using social media to research where to live. I cover questions like where to find people who are like you, or people who can tell you about a suburb or area, who have nothing to gain by sharing that information. Who can you trust to give you honest information?
I feel very grateful to live in such exciting times where the power is gong back to the people. Of course ‘the people’ do have to take the power and whilst everyone subsequently had an opinion on Mayor Len Brown’s indiscretions, only 33% turned up to vote in the Auckland local Government elections. I do like the saying ‘You get the Government you deserve’.
So who do you trust? Who do you go to for advice? How are you going to use the information now available to you, to help build the world you want for yourself and your children? How will you contribute?