I was recently inspecting a home for a young couple who were buying their first home. At one point during the inspection, I overheard the buyers father explain to his son how to do something. I can't give any more information about that because, since the topic was not related in any way to the house or to the inspection, I really didn't pay much attention to what they were talking about. I didn't put much thought into the discussion until I heard the father say that he got this information on the internet, and remarked that it has a wealth of information on any topic you may want to research.
Obviously, that statement is true, as we all know. What struck me at the time though, was that the internet also has a wealth of mis-information. I don't know why I hadn't thought of that earlier, but I rarely gave it a second thought. I had read information that I knew to be false or misleading in the past but dismissed it as such and went on my routine. Like the "home inspection expert" who advised buyers to turn on the central air conditioning in the winter to verify that it gets cold. His reasoning is you don't want to find out in July that the A/C is not working. My HVAC friends have told me that this would essentially guarantee that the unit would not work when you need it to, it would damage the compressor.
But how much of the information do we take for granted because we read it on the world wide web, how often do we make decisions for our lives based on some free advice from the so-called experts that we read online. We can get financial advice, health advice, home or auto maintenance tips, dating and romance tips. We can learn how to negotiate a better compensation package from our employer, how to win at the stock market, how to make everyone like you, and how to perform do it yourself oral surgery.
OK, I made that last one up.
The point is, anyone with a computer and internet access can be an expert in anything they want. There is no real regulation on what people post online. Don't take something as Gospel just because you read it online from an expert in the field. With everything you read, assume that there may be some room for error. Cross reference the facts, double check the information, do your due diligence and research before making a decision that you may live to regret.
American Bulldog Home Inspection
Watchdog for the American Dream