A recent report by Edelman (featured on AdAge) shows that people don’t trust their peers as much as they used to. In fact it’s down 20% from 2008 (45% to 25%). As a matter of fact if you look at the overall “trust-O-meter”, all forms of media are down when it comes to trust and I would love to believe that they used the same demographic/psychographic group these questions.

As for the drop, this could mean many things and it’s important to remember that 43.853% of all statistics are completely fabricated. Here are the most likely reasons for you not trusting your online friends.

  1. Social media is maturing and people are starting to become more adept at figuring out who is honest and who is selling something or just plain wrong.
  2. The economy has been very bad over the last couple of years and this impacts how people talk about businesses.
  3. Some people don’t like to admit their ignorance so they recommend businesses they believe to be good but they have no direct connection with. You know . . . “that guy”.
  4. People are finally realizing that a user generated medium may not necessarily be more honest than one created by business. The only difference is that businesses have something to gain.
  5. You simply need new friends. Not the ones that do everything Facebook throws at them. Surveys, virtual goods (aka virtual junk); hugs, pillow fights, mystery eggs, etc.

The AdAge author makes a good point about people needing to hear things 5 times before they believe it. Fortunately for those types, there are now at least 1308 channels in which you can hear someone’s opinion; business or otherwise.  As for me, I recommend:

  1. Reading this blog more often and recommend it to your friends.
  2. Reading this blog more often and recommend it to your friends.
  3. Reading this blog more often and recommend it to your friends.
  4. Reading this blog more often and recommend it to your friends.
  5. Reading this blog more often and recommend it to your friends.

Trust in peers on social media is down