Is internet advice always right?

Over the last 7 weeks the best way for people to stay in touch has been via all that digital technology at our fingers tips. The family quiz on a Saturday night on Zoom. Live streams of local bands over Facebook. The growth of the virtual pub community with comedy night and other get togethers.

We are connected with to those we know so well but can’t see to talk to in the flesh.  But what about all those online ‘friends’. The ones we don’t know in person but like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, connect with us on LinkedIn and share our tik-toks.

Over my many years in business I have been cautioned by sage business professionals about taking advice from those I don’t know, or trust. Indeed when considering the virtual world how many of us rely on the opinion of others when buying a product or service?

Before going to a restaurant, or booking a holiday, TripAdvisor is the go-to source. For online shopping we will look at Google, Trustpilot or Feefo for ratings and reviews, to help us make an informed choice.  Yet on Facebook and other sites people will ask a group of random strangers for opinions and advice on all matters.

I have seen people ask about;

  • the side-effects of drugs and to recommend doses,
  • the best way to set up a business,
  • the best thing for their mental health.

In my opinion that isn’t a wise path to take. All those questions need a considered response from professional people who can ask questions of you, understand the possible solutions available and then recommend the best one for you, using their weight of knowledge and experience.

Never mind people not actually knowing the answers to the questions online contributors  make money from giving advice and endorsing products online, sometimes without us ever realising that they are benefiting. So how do you know if the answers given are the best for you? In short, you don’t.  It might be free but could end up costing you dear.

It is bad practice to make key life decisions based on the advice of someone unqualified and inexperienced. My advice would be, if it effects your health or your wealth then talk to a professional. But if you want to know if the food is any good then trust the internet, the only thing you will get from poor advice there is indigestion!