E-Trust is the strange phenomenon that causes normally shrewd and skeptical people to become completely trusting morons when meeting people from dating websites, in online chat rooms or via instant messaging.
How It Works
This sudden increase in naivete is caused by a simple trigger that advertisers have been exploiting for years: the sound of your own voice. You are the most trustworthy person you know, and you naturally trust your own thoughts and ideas to a greater degree than anyone else's. When you think, you hear a voice -- your voice -- telling you what you believe to be true. This is the same voice that you hear when reading a book, newspaper, or blog post. The voice calls out to you. It tells you that you can trust it -- it would never lie to you. But the voice isn't repeating your thoughts and ideas! Instead, it's being prompted by the psycho midget bride of Frankenstein (the midget is a dude though) on the other side of the screen.
That's Not a Woman You're Chatting With
The voice has lied to you many, many times in the past, but if we were to stop trusting it we would be turning our backs on millions of years of evolved instinct. And so you trust it. You believe it when it reads to you and says that the 40-year-old pedophile you're talking to is a petite platinum blonde who'd like to meet up with you for teen Bible study. You believe what other people are telling you on the internet for the exact same reason you believe you're getting a deal on a new Kia Spectra from the local dealership: because you read it on a screen or in a paper and you heard it in your own, trusting voice that has your best interests in mind.
When on the internet, don't let yourself be lured into trusting someone or something you've never met. Remind yourself that the person on the other end only sounds reasonable because he or she sounds like you. And, please, don't pet the pedophiles.