Research Center Finds Millenials Don’t Trust; Retired Spy Blames Technology
A new report by the Pew Research Center discovered Millenials (i.e., ages 18-33) are the least trusting generation in modern US history. Researchers found that just 19% of Millenials believe people can be trusted, sharply lower than the other three generations. Gen X (ages 34-49), Baby Boomers (ages 50-68), and the Silent Generation (69-86) rated the trustworthiness of others at 31, 40 and 37 percent, respectively.
The Pew study theorized that the Millenial’s racial diversity (43% are non-white) may, in part, explain the generation’s trust issue. The 2007 Pew Study “Americans and Social Trust” found that only 20% of African-Americans and 12% of Hispanics had high levels of trust in other people.
Chris Simmons, one of the most successful spy-catchers of the last half-century, strongly disagrees with the Pew Center’s theory. A retired Lieutenant Colonel with 28 years military service, Simmons earned the nickname, “The Puppet Master,” for being able to get anything out of anyone. A student of human nature, he was renowned for combining behavioral analysis, body language, and speech patterns to understand, influence and then predict the actions of others. As a result of his unique skills, he helped end or cripple the careers of over 80 spies and led the most successful interrogation operations in Iraq.
Simmons blames technology for making Millenials a generation of communicative “have nots.” In a Forbes article, corporate trainer Dana Brownlee noted that as the first generation to grow up as “digital natives,” Millennials prefer text-based mediums like email, instant message and texting over all other forms of communication.
Anthropologist Ray Birdwhistell, psychologist Albert Mehrabian, and others found that body language and utterances convey 65%-93% of the message in a face-to-face discussion. In a phone conversation, utterances (i.e., voice speed, tone, volume & non-words like a groan), capture a stunning 86% of conversational meaning and words the remaining 14 percent.
In contrast, Simmons argues, Millenials have inflicted upon themselves an inability to communicate. “All communication is theater,” he said, adding, “by seeking to share thoughts and ideas without the artistry of nonverbals, Millenials have condemned themselves to life in a communicative desert.”
“I love you” is often thought to be the most romantic of all phrases observed Simmons. “However, the nonverbals can transform those lovely words into anything from a poisonous insult to a mocking question.” An expert in forensic statement analysis, he knows words deliver a message’s content, but the nonverbals express the intent. “Its no wonder Millenials don’t trust others,” opined Simmons, “How could they? They’ve suffered lives of endless frustration because their preferred communications tools are ineffective, inefficient and virtually guaranteed to ensure their messages are misunderstood.”
Simmons is the author of the blog “Human Chess: A Spy’s Guide to Understanding & Influencing Others” (www.HumanChessBlog.com), as well as a forthcoming book by the same name.
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