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Google this

December 10, 2014
By Larry DeHays , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

There is a relatively new fad going around, (within the last 10 years, anyway) of googling for answers to almost every problem we encounter. From how to clear a clogged drain, to how to get divorced, (if he can't clear the drain) we trust our search engines to have the answers.

Sometimes it's great, sometimes not so much. I don't refer to the times when we're sitting in a bar and google for who was that guy who hit that home run in the third game of the world series of 1994, although that might seem to be important at the time, (to win a bet, usually). It's more like, your car is hiccuping when you start it up on Tuesdays, but it goes away quickly. "What could it be, Mr. Google? How do I fix it?"

Mr. Google has a problem. He has many more questions stored up than answers. If I were to google for an answer to a car problem, I would probably find dozens and dozens of blogs asking for answers to the same problem I seem to have. "Does anybody know," or "Can anybody tell me?" are common endings to multiple blogs. Very few helpful answers seem to be provided. The real experts mostly remain quiet, probably because they know it is usually more complicated than the googler wants to believe. Just guessing, of course, since I wouldn't Google for car problems or anything. But if I did, (just saying), I bet I'd find a few guys responding with how they tackled their problem, and how it seemed to help for a while, but not completely. Sometimes four or five guys would be going in opposite directions to fix a problem, and ending with questions for anyone who can help further. A little digging might uncover that their problems were actually not the same. There were slight differences in the makes or models of the cars, or in the symptoms experienced, which makes their entire repair procedure suspect for fixing my problem, for which I didn't google anyway, of course.

People (not you or me, I'm sure) even google health questions. "What should I do for a headache?" Answer: "Take two aspirin and google me in the morning."

"What if I have this pain in my side?"

"Take a scalpel and make a three inch incision ,"

Wait a minute. Put the scalpel down, step away from the mirror and nobody will get hurt.

The adage that, "A little knowledge is dangerous," is not meant to dissuade you from acquiring knowledge. Knowledge is helpful, knowledge is necessary, knowledge is power. It's meant to be a warning that insufficient knowledge about the problem at hand can, if allowed, result in foolhardy action. General Custer may have thought the indians were happy because they were singing and dancing the night before. More information might have been helpful.

The point is, you should feel free to google yourself into a coma if you like, but resist actually acting on the results before getting a "live" professional opinion from an expert in the field who has had the opportunity to actually examine the problem and recommend a solution.

Your advance research into your car problem may actually help you understand the explanation and the diagnosis your mechanic gives you, which is helpful to all parties involved. In other words a little knowledge is actually helpful, if it is followed by more knowledge rather than by self-surgery. It's also less painful.



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