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The Digital Minute


May 13, 2022

Friday the 13th seems like an appropriate day to tell you about some of the misinformation that flies around the internet…and in fact, it’s making some of us ill.

 

Some people take pleasure in sharing fake news, or winding other people up..everything is amplified and there are even bots - machines, bits of software and code - that are designed to cause trouble online.

 

The fact is that spending too much time online risks giving you a pretty warped view of reality.

 

Things aren’t always as bad as online makes out.

 

One of the worst things you can do is to Google symptoms - whether it’s physical or mental health…you can end up reading all sorts of unreliable, untested and inappropriate information all being passed off as an absolute fact.

 

So my plea to you at the end of this Mental Health Awareness Week is, when you’re online, pay attention to the source of the information.

 

Can it be verified? Is it reliable? Who are these people? Can they be trusted?

 

And try to spend more time consuming information from trusted sources - real world organisations, with a physical presence and some sort of barrier to entry or regulation - ask yourself ‘who does the person that wrote this answer to?’ And if the answer is ‘nobody’, think very carefully before attaching too much importance to what they’re saying.