The other day while I was spending a ridiculous amount of money to fill up my gas tank I thought of the amount of trust us humans place in technology for something as menial as filling up a gas tank. I mean think about it, we trust the oil companies to run as ecofriendly of an operation as they can. By this I mean trusting the pipelines not to burst or drilling equipment not to break and contaminate the environment. We trust the oil refinery machinery to create the proper mixture of fuel we need to put in our cars so they last as long as they can. We trust of the tanker trucks and (something). Then when the fuel we are about to purchase is at the gas station we trust our bank or credit card company to have the money to pay the gas station. And finally the part where I began to think about this question of trust was at the pump. How many people actually see the fuel going in the tank? Now obviously when you fill up a portable gas tank you can see that yes it definitely does have a liquid in it and yes it does smell like fuel. Even then though I began to wonder, how can we trust that the volume of fuel the pump is telling me it is giving me is accurate. And that’s just some of the technology that we trust before the fuel is in our cars after that we trust the engineers and designers of the car to have created an accurate fuel gauge. And this system of thought could go on and on with just this one subject not to mention the countless other technologies we use on a daily basis that we place one of the most sacred traits of being human, our trust. So what are the limits of this trust? I think we trust what is familiar if you grow up using things like cellphones or computers you are more likely to trust that they will be there for you and work properly when you need them. There is a flip side to that however, my almost seventy year old grandpa has his computer, phone and smart watch completely synced together. Meaning that he trusts all of this brand new technology to keep track of his life, when doctors’ appointments are, where he is supposed to be that day, what exercises he is supposed to do, he even keeps track of everything he eats by entering it onto his phone. So this is a sort of learned or maybe and adapted trust because he certainly didn’t grow up with these technologies. Technology has invaded our lives and we have embraced it but need to be conscious of the fact that we place a lot of trust into these artificial creations. We trust them to do what they are supposed to without to many problems. It all comes back to trusting the humans who create the technologies we use every day to create a safe and reliable product.



  1. I think it is important to trust because that is how we experience things. Not that everything should be given full trust freely caution should be taken. I think more than trust the issue of dependency on technology is more of a problem.

  2. We definetly do trust technology in ways we don’t even realize. I think in most cases, it far too much. If we were to loose satelites, by say, a large solar flar, the world (especially westerners) would be in a world of hurt. This is of course, a broader focus than your argument, but I think it still ties to the issue at hand- trust.

  3. I was just thinking about this the other day about the food industry. We put so much trust into the fact that there will be food at the grocery store or restaurant. Imagine if the infrastructure of farming or distribution was down for just one day. I believe it would have a crazy effect on our daily lives. Trust plays such a big part in so much of our lives as Americans.

  4. We are definitely very trustworthy of our technologies, but we don’t have a strong enough reason not to be. The technologies we use every day have low enough error rates that we can trust them to work the majority of the time.

  5. Anything that has to do with gas prices upsets me. We are paying way to much money on gas, and prices keep going up. I remember when gas was more than four dollars a gallon. One thing that upsets me the most is when I fill up, and later that day I pass a gas station with a lower price. I hate gas.

  6. I definitely think most people are not as trusting with technology and especially with how much we pay now a days. But I never see much of an outcry or scrutiny until something horrible goes wrong like the BP oil spill.

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