Risk and Opportunities in a New Age of Trust

 

A Brave New World

The Time of Trust is at hand. Our previous blogisode has explored the fundamentals of being trustworthy. It elaborated on trust’s power, the role it plays in personal development, and its necessity in bringing people together. In recent years, this has been with the welcomed assistance of social networking technology.

Thanks to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, massive multiplayer online gaming communities and other more specialized sites and apps; forming connections has never been easier. People across the globe, who have never met each other in person, can converge virtually, bond and create friendships and relationships no less real than those made in person. Like how people used to make Pen Pals, but upgraded with modern technology!

These meetings come to be either through sheer happenstance, in the infinite randomness of the ‘net, or because of their commonalities, shared interests or causes. Love can bloom while two video game players battle virtual opponents, for example. These often progress to actual, physical meetings, as travel has also never been easier than before. From gatherings of locals and newly acquainted neighbors to international, globe-trotting rendezvouses of friends or, plenty of times, more-than-friends, people young and old alike.

It is an interesting time to be alive, a brave new world where so many paths can cross…

 

Issues of Implosion

Yet there is another recent, unavoidable and un-ignorable development, just as profound and concerning as the Time of Trust. It is the drastic change in people’s perspective towards the powerful institutions of the world. Levels of trust for the likes of governments, mass mainstream media and others are plummeting at unprecedented rates.

Trust Barometer

The Edelman’s Trust Barometer for 2017 describes a “Trust Implosion,” Edelman’s press release elaborating that: “The gap between the trust held by the informed public and that of the mass population has widened to 15 points, with the biggest disparities in the U.S. (21 points), U.K. (19 points) and France (18 points). The mass population in 20 countries distrusts their institutions, compared to only six for the informed public.”

“The implications of the global trust crisis are deep and wide-ranging,” said Richard Edelman, the president and CEO of the global firm. “It began with the Great Recession of 2008, but like the second and third waves of a tsunami, globalization and technological change have further weakened people’s trust in global institutions. The consequence is virulent populism and nationalism as the mass population has taken control away from the elites.”

 

Paradox of Trust

It is an irony and a paradox in the age of social media, in the Time of Trust, that these aforementioned vast and traditional organizations are experiencing eroding credibility. At the same time, individuals are more connected to each other than they have ever been. For better or worse, it is a duality of disruption.

As the old familiars flounder, newcomers are emerging and thriving. Startup tech firms, social media-powered movements, viral marketing and alternate news sites, peer-to-peer sharing systems and grassroots tech-savvy community organizers have created a decentralized environment where individuals can be better heard and where their actions have greater impact.

Maybe it is no coincidence that the Time of Trust has come amidst such insecurity and volatility. Undoubtedly these trends are connected to recent political, socioeconomic and environmental shifts occurring around the world. We are seeing changes both rapid coming and gradually built up, born out of the disparities dividing people… but this is a subject for another time.  

 

The Bigger Picture

One cannot help but see that these are related, after all, the Time of Trust is built on interconnections! These events and trends not just confined in primetime news or in websites, but are part of a greater picture that we ourselves are part of. These events influence our lives. We, in turn, can likewise influence this picture in our own way.

We’ve seen small acts of altruism snowball into viral sensations that have changed and even saved lives. Change.Org petitions, Facebook posts inspiring charitable movements, those in need who got help after being noticed in social media, dreams made real through Kickstarter, and hashtag awareness campaigns that bring people together… These little efforts can accumulate and have big results over time. But they take patience, awareness and the genuine desire to bring positive change into the world.   

 

What Matters Most

New technology platforms built on the foundations of trust are important and meaningful. They give people more options, from vacationing in the house of a complete stranger as one would do with AirBnb or sharing a ride with someone you have never met before using Uber. These are examples of a fair and egalitarian way forward.

Enfavr has evolved as a platform that allows people to help each other. It combines time-old concepts of community with new approaches in social networking and the altruistic nature human relationships. Amidst the paradigm shift now occuring all around us, Enfavr offers a people-powered and empowering movement working from the bottom-up, made of and by individuals.

It grows with each and every Favr they do for one another, from carpools for those having a tough time taking their kids to school, to offering a place to stay to someone in between jobs and looking for a new place to rent, to helping busy parents babysit, and countless other needs and simple requests.

Whether it’s simple everyday activities or actual life-savers, Enfavr is defined by these acts. Done in person, between individuals who can rely upon each other and bring more  into this way of life. It is a process of vital, essential humanness that we seek to cultivate because it matters now more than ever.  

 

The Wheel Turns

Individuals will remain connected despite whatever happens to the institutions facing the Trust Implosion. They will still have the community that they have built out of their relationships and the earned trust.

In other words: People still have each other. And in hard times that’s what’s most important, what we must hold on to. The notion seems poetic but has been tested across the years, during the “old days” that were not what nostalgia might lead some to believe. Those times must be remembered with clarity as guides for what may come. They help us avoid taking things in the present, both good and bad, for granted.

Oceans rise, empires fall. We have seen each other through it all,” so goes a song in the musical Hamilton. Everything is part of the cycle, subject to change when the wheel turns. Maybe the Trust Implosion is part of the cycle, a sign that push has finally come to shove. So we must be ready for what the future might bring, or even bring a future of our own making… One Favr at a time.

 

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