Life - Just Google It3:30:00 pm
After recent events in my life 'Just Google It' - something my Mum says to me on a daily basis - is a subject that I feel the need to address. It is always said completely innocently, simply because it's what Mum would do herself, but it can have some pretty drastic results if taken literally. That's why today I want to reiterate the fact that you shouldn't believe everything you read on the Internet.
One example of when to be cautious is when you are ill. The past ten days or so I have had the worst flu I have ever experienced, which turned into a full blown chest infection, and I feel I have been metaphorically dying. I was always told you don't need to consult a doctor with cold and flu symptoms because there is pretty much nothing they can do other than suggest rest, home remedies and a list of over the counter medication as long as someone with legs up to here. In Morocco there is no NHS so you really don't go to the doctors unless you have a serious concern and according to Mother Button, this has to be pretty severe. So.........when your body feels like a bus has ran over it (a thousand times), your head feels like an over inflated balloon and your coughing so much you begin to develop muscles in your stomach you never even knew existed, who do you turn to? Google of course!
The first thing I searched was, 'What foods are good for you when you have flu'. This was reasonably successful in providing me with relevant information including foods that help build up physical strength to fight the illness, those high in vitamins to strengthen the immune system and foods that will be highly nutritious if you are not able to eat a lot.
This advice had me huffing and puffing my way to the shop for turkey, bananas, chicken soup and adding garlic and ginger to every single thing I ate. One suggestion was toast, blooming toast, are you serious? I have never read so much rubbish in all my life and the description given was even less helpful. According to the web page I landed on, 'toast is nothing to ignore. If you can manage food, try toast or crackers. It can be a convenient food when you're fighting illness. Plus, they pair well with chicken noodle soup and their satisfying crunch can take the edge off hunger when your stomach can't handle much'. Basically because it goes well with chicken soup and the crunch can apparently curb feelings of hunger it is described as a good food to eat when you have flu. Reason No1 of why you shouldn't believe everything you read.
The next few keywords searched would have me believe within five minutes flat, had I been gullible enough, that I was suffering with a fatal illness and needed to see a doctor immediately. Thankfully not the case but when you are in pain you believe anything in order to put a reason to your suffering. 'Cold or Flu Symptom Check' was my next search phrase and it took me to the NHS online symptom checker and after answering a few questions about how I was feeling I was presented with an alarming message. 'SPEAK TO YOUR GP IMMEDIATELY', followed by 'if your surgery is closed you should follow their instructions for contacting the emergency doctor'. Totally ridiculous after detailing clear cold and/or flu symptoms. It is advice like this that leads to the NHS being abused by making you believe you urgently need to see a doctor, when really all you need is a mug of hot lemon & honey and a few days rest. Reason No2 of why you shouldn't believe everything you read.
I could go on but I am sure you get my drift, be it Google or any other Internet source, content is only as reliable as the opinion of the person that wrote it and should never be treated as gospel. This way of thinking should also be applied if you are an avid social media (especially twitter) user, it would definitely save a lot of misunderstandings and disagreements, savvy?
To leave you all with something to think about - ask yourself - if someone else could see the last three things you typed into Google, would you cringe?