If you use the net to find answers to relationship problems, how can you trust what you’re reading? Gays.com’s community manager Tara Thompson asks if we’re putting too much faith in the web and if it can actually help to damage relationships…
Trust. Funny word, isn’t it? How many times do you hear, “trust me?” Always figured that if someone has to tell you that, that means they are not trustworthy – after all, shouldn’t it be a given? Why should they have to sell it to you? But now I wonder if the reason why they say that is because they feel they are not getting their due… and in fact it’s YOU that’s making THEM seem like they’re not trustworthy.
OK, let me put it simply; we have become a society of cynics. Remember back in the day when encyclopaedias (not Wikipedias!) were the main sources of info? The written word, and I’m talking about the written word where ink and paper were the materials, not fonts and pantone colours. You did your research, got your source and showed off your intellect. Today? Well, everyone has Google, everyone’s right! So when you hear, “trust me”, you may wonder if what they’re really saying is, “Trust me, I’ve Googled it!”
A friend of mine had a recent rant on Facebook. He wrote: “I’m fed up with these so-called know-it-alls who run their mouths like they are some serious experts and researchers. When the truth is all they know is what they barely managed to understand after skimming the first web page from a Google search. By all means please research and enjoy the topics that interest you. However, if you don’t know the difference between fact, theory and opinion, go and educate yourself a bit more before you start lecturing people like they are dumb fools. Stick that in your smartphone and research it.”
Now you may be wondering what all this has to do with trust in relationships, but think about it…what do you do when you’ve had an argument with your significant other or had relationship issues? Go on, be honest, I’ve done it too, you Google what you’ve been fighting about. You go to your social networking sites and feed your problem into the big old internet machine and wait to see what’s sent back and who’s saying what. Then what do you do? You use that as a basis of supporting your argument (or not). Either way, your information comes from Google, Wikipedia, Facebook, Gays.com, etc.
I know a lot of what you’ll find is about life experience, people are sharing what’s happened to them, and the outcome of their situations, but think about it: does the way you attempt to resolve personal problems involve a few typed words followed by hitting the ’search’ button?
How many of you have had trust issues with your partner? And how many of you went to therapy for it, you know, “trusting” in an individual who studied (non-Google style) their area of expertise, rather than resorting to seeking advice online?
And while we’re on the subject of relationships and trust, instead of using the internet to help us solve personal problems, how many of you have been affected by the wonderful world wide web in a negative way? How many times have you wondered who your significant other is talking to online and how deep that goes? Have you ever had arguments or a break-up because of the internet and social networks? •