The Information You Consume

When looking online for answers regarding a question I have, there are a few main sources I go to for information. First, Google, to access secondary sources. Second, YouTube, to find people talking about the topic I'm researching. Third, real people I personally know in the profession that covers my topic of interest. Whether these sources are reliable is up for debate.

My boyfriend, Jeremy, is in school for software engineering, so he knows his way around a computer very well. During his schooling, he showed me what he learned about Google searches. On Google when you search a topic, the company who paid the most to be advertised are sometimes the first source to pop-up. This means that although that company's information may not be most accurate, they will be the first link you see. Jeremy showed me a way to make a search so that these companies don't pop up, but that the more credible sources do. This is how I make Google searches in attempts to find information that is more reliable. YouTube may be another story. When looking up information on YouTube, someone can say they're a doctor, nutritionist, yoga instructor, etc. but that doesn't mean they actually are. The information you get on this site needs to be taken with a grain of salt because people talking may be just as educated about a topic as you are, making them less reliable than they seem. I know this, so when looking information up on this website, I don't take too much to heart, but use it to get a general idea about certain topics. Lastly, and probably the most reliable, is talking to someone you know personally to be in the profession regarding the topic you're looking into. This can be talking to a pediatrician about your child's rash, going to a nutritionist or dietician when trying to lose weight, asking a personal trainer to give you a few tips about working out, and many other people in various professions who are either certified or have a degree in the topic of discussion. Although they may not know you personally, I find them the most reliable because they know everything in that certain category of information. With that being said, they can't be used for everything, so resorting to internet searches are still needed sometimes and we all need to be educated a little more on how to make a search that finds information that is reliable.

No one wants to get false information, especially when you have to then pass that information on to another person later. This can cause a rumor, or false sources to be spread, and then believed to be true. Before talking to someone about something I've learned, it's important to fact check. This can be done by cross referencing to other sources, or looking up where the person who posted the information got it from to see if they even used a credible source. This is important, but often overlooked, and I know I'm guilty of just passing knowledge on without checking into it first. Believing the biggest claims, or the most bold statements, is easier than trying to figure out if something is actually true. Although tedious sometimes, it's important to find out the truth to stop the spread of unreliable information, which is a major problem in our society today.


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