Hold The Internet Accountable
All the things that make the internet an amazing mechanism for information dissemination, community building, and business creation are the same mechanisms that make it so dangerous. There is no system of accountability on the internet, it’s still the Wild Wild West out there. For this very fact fitness, food, political, science, etc… icons on the internet are not to be trusted without a preliminary investigation first. Know who you follow and know where they get their information from. It’s time to hold the internet accountable.
A beautiful relationship can be built on the internet these days. It’s the same relationship that people in a small town have with their doctor or bank teller.
Let’s walk through how this relationship can be built, and why you can and should use it to get quality information out of the internet instead of mass-marketed drivel*.
The Doctor Analogy
You move to a new town. You realize that being in a new town makes your tummy ache (hopefully you didn’t move to the town in Erin Brockovich or Flint, Michigan***). So you look for a doctor to give you a check-up.
Doctor 1: There are 25 patients in the waiting room which is beautifully decorated on the top floor of a gigantic office building overlooking a park or lake or something, and when you get into the consultation room a nurse takes all your vitals and tell you the doctor will be with you soon. After another 30-minute wait the doctor comes in. He looks you over in 1 minute flat. He then starts to tell you that there could be 5 different things wrong with you and prescribes you 3 different medicines all meant to treat a different potential illness. Once done he also tells you that he is conducting a randomized trial that has the potential to heal an array of ailments. One of which may be one of your 7 potential illnesses. So try everything, and like sprinkles, here’s a round of antibiotics.
Doctor 2:There is a small office with two other people in the waiting room. At your appointment time, your name is called and you go into a consultation room to meet with the doctor. After some pleasantries and getting to know each other, the doctor spends 15 minutes conducting tests. All the while he is asking you questions to confirm his suspicions, and he diagnoses you. He prescribes you a medication that will heal your troubled belly. He also explains your condition, how to prevent it in the future and what home remedies may help it in its beginning stages of onset.
Which do you choose?
The Analogy Sets In
In every industry there are a lot of websites that are only interested making money and pumping the most people through their business funnels as possible. The fitness and nutrition industry are no different.
An easy way to tell if you are getting smoke blown up your bum hole is to look for references on the website you are looking at, or at least a detailed explanation talking about real science or something an undisputed professional did.
“Always perform sumo dead lifts, never do the straight leg variant, the sumo dead lift leads to greater overall strength gain and fewer back injuries”
“Eat more colorful fruits because they promote gut health and nothing is more important than your gut”
“When hard boiling an egg always bring the water to a boil first then add the eggs”
The above justifications are catch-alls which always indicate potential BS. Every person and body is different, blanket diagnoses are more and more proving to be not only unhelpful but detrimental. There are very few catch-alls that cover every human+.
Some Better Alternatives
“When studied the sumo dead lift has been shown to put (x) amount of more mass on the hamstring and in longevity studies has shown to produce less injuries across (y) number of experienced lifters surveyed. This evidence however is far from conclusive”**
“Colorful fruits have more antioxidants in them. Increased numbers of antioxidants have been proven to increase gut health through (z) process”**
“By adding eggs to already boiling water you can more easily account for the amount of heat applied to the egg and can then more accurately remove the eggs from the heat to achieve your desired level of doneness.”**
These second examples show you that the author has put in the thought and research to ensure she/he is giving you the most accurate information possible.
Keep your thinking cap on when surfing through the world wide web. It’s free to make a website; anyone can do it for any number of reasons. Stick with websites that try to prove themselves to you with every post or article and build a relationship with these people in order to continue to hold them accountable. Especially if they are making fact-based claims that have the potential to impact your standard of life.
+ Like drink water, eat food, and sleep. Past these three examples things are highly variable.
*Drivel: a word British people use.
** I made all the examples up, if you have issues with them you can talk to your imaginary friend about them because they contain the same level of reality.
*** This is a reference to the Flint Michigan Megabowl not the water issue, which I would never joke about.