How To Know Whose Advice To Take On the Internet

It has become one of my favorite pastimes to scour the internet for advice, often on topics that have absolutely nothing to do with anything in my life at the moment, when I could just as easily call a friend or family member with experience on the subject and ask. But I like my method, and revert back to it time and time again because I find it much easier to filter this kind of advice, the contradictory kind on how you need to live a more fulfilled life by your own standards, but only after you’ve read this arbitrary article on how to live a more fulfilled life according to me, someone who has your best interests at heart, but has absolutely no idea who you are. That’s me.

The advice I sincerely long for, irrespective of the source, is related to the painful observations about my circumstances that I am probably already well aware of, but choose to ignore; truths that speak to my lack of nerve to change the things in my life that perpetually bring me disappointment. If I were to confide in a friend my struggles and ask them how they think I should go about them, I’d better be prepared to receive that answer which has been smoldering under the surface but stifled by fear.

Yet there’s another reason why I don’t like receiving (read: heeding) anonymous advice, almost — almost — as much as I don’t like giving it: that is, the answer to the question, “What makes your anonymous opinion valid for me?” Would you take dieting advice from someone who’s overweight? Would you take tips on socializing from a loner? Lessons on how to be jumbo from a shrimp? How to live from a zombie? Barking lessons from a cat? (I know those last…five were a reach, but follow me…) The point is, the answer could very well [validly] be a resounding “yes” to all of these. You don’t have to be in possession of or be something to know all about it, as there are those who have or are it who nonetheless are clueless about their situation.

So my advice on receiving advice from someone who doesn’t know you personally or have experience with whatever it is you’re going through, from the perspective of someone who doesn’t know you personally or have experience with whatever it is you’re going through, is to proceed with caution and decide for yourself whether or not whatever it is they have to say is valid for you. Or don’t.

The advice you’re seeking is surely a truth you are already aware of, so consider saving yourself some time and listen to that one person who without a doubt has your best interests at heart. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

featured image – Kārlis Dambrāns

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