The instant expert – time saver or stress maker?

August 17, 2010 at 7:55 pm | Posted in Daily Life | 4 Comments
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I read an interesting article in the September issue of Red magazine called ‘The know-it-all generation’ about our increasing need to know something about everything – infolust.

With the internet giving us access to how-to guides on absolutely anything and everything, and social media allowing us to self publish our own knowledge aswell as seeking answers to questions, solutions to problems and support for emotional issues, is it a good thing, or a bad thing having this amount of information at our finger tips?

I am an expert in the fields of everything…and anything.

A few years ago I would spend my evenings getting the house straight, watching something good on TV and talking (actual verbal words) to real life people.

Here is a little collection of pros and cons on being the instant expert.  How does being an expert or seeker of new knowledge make you feel?

Pros

Starting my blog means I’ve transferred my ramblings into a hobby I love, and hopefully others get value from too. If you want to be a published author these days, you can be in the time it takes to say ‘WordPress or Blogger’. It’s opened up huge opportunities.

I managed to learn how to add a new page to my work website.  Yes it took a few hours, yes it was late, and yes it required the assistance of a little Merlot.  But I did it, all by myself.

I fixed our oven and saved a small fortune.  Ok my dad fixed our oven, I just ordered the replacement parts.  But I was actively involved.

Sat nav means that I can navigate my way absolutely anywhere, and for some reason people still seem impressed when you find them ‘no problems‘, even when you declare that the soothing Tom Tom lady was by your side.

The internet kindly advised me how to prune my bay trees and nurture them back to health.  Yes I am totally rock and roll.

I have some chicken, some spinach, a sweet potato and some cheese, and no idea what to do with it to create a meal.  Tap-di-tap and voila one of 642,492 recipes sites tells me what to do with it.

Cons

The skin cancer you’d convinced yourself you had is actually just an ingrown hair.  Those weeks of worry putting off a doctors appointment were a complete waste of time and did not justify the amount of red wine consumed.  Self diagnosing is not a good use of time.  If Google says you’re going to die, ask a real expert to be the judge of it.*

The kind help of a DIY website almost saw the efficient bleeding and repair of my radiator…until the valve shot off and flooded the room.  I opted to reach for the phone (with free hand, other hand trying to stem the flow of gushing water), and call a real life expert.  Dad.

You sometimes forget that you do know actual experts – family and friends that would be happy and willing to help.  It’s good to talk after all.

Yes the spare parts for the oven worked a treat, but then the clock timer stopped working, and I blew up the oven meddling with it.  Luckily I lost nothing other than a little confidence – it could have been my hair.

When asking for help, venting frustration and so on online, it’s 100% visible – it’s easy to forget that when you become absorbed in social networking.  Sometimes it pays to remember that – and ask a proper person instead.  (Note to self by the way).

The more you know, the more you need to know, and all of a sudden you have total overload and your brain stops functioning.  You have to resort to watching nothing other than Loose Women.  You have to read printed words, on paper, not those on a screen, and you have to call a (gasp) professional in to fix the washing machine.  But at least you can breath.

* I honestly hope not to belittle anyone who has suffered from a serious illness and hope that the humour in our silly need to self-diagnose comes through here.

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4 Comments »

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  1. That is very funny, we have all done that googling our symptoms and yes you are always going to die. That is pretty cool you have fixed and found out all those things but yes you can take it a bit far. Sometimes you do forget to talk to real live people but sometimes in fact other than my hubby and kids I prefer my online people 🙂 Great post xx

    • Very true, we’ve met once but you probably know more about me than most people!!

  2. ROFL, I am going to have to get the oh to read this… mind you I am going to the Dr’s because of a self diagnosis from the internet…

    • We’ve all done it hey, it’s too easy!!


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