Posts Tagged ‘Google’

After the last couple of weeks in class, I’m almost ashamed to do this assignment. The question is, “Where do YOU go when you want to find out the facts?” And to be quite honest…Google. I Google like crazy. Having a hard time helping my kids with their math homework…Google. Need to find stress management techniques for a presentation in my Social Services class…Google. Trying to find alternate words to express myself more eloquently in a scholarship essay…GOOGLE!!! When I check my search history it appears I average around 70 searches a week. Which, oftentimes, leads me to Wikipedia. That (and ehow.com) happens to be the top site visited in my history. I always thought, “Gee! A free encyclopedia? Can’t go wrong there.” Oh how wrong could I be?
Did you know anyone can publish information on almost any subject on Wikipedia? It doesn’t have to be an expert or even an educated person. It might not stick but what if you’re searching oh, say the heavy metal umlaut and you find it on Wikipedia in the 2 minutes that some bad information was published. Well, crap, won’t you feel foolish when you cite said bad information in your next discussion on the subject.
Let’s, for a moment and for the sake of my assignment, take a look at my other top information gathering site, eHow. I travel here roughly maybe once a week. The last time I remember visiting this site was to figure out how to write a resume for a volunteer position. I’ve never checked the credibility (until now) but I gather the information I need and discard anything that doesn’t seem useful. According to the “about us” on the website their information comes from professionals in various fields. When checking out the various articles you can click on the author and decide for yourself if they are a credible source to gather information from. Are they educated? Do they have a degree in their area of expertise? Are they biased?
Fortunately, I am learning to think critically. Something I’m sure Ive done in the past but now I’m doing it more consciously and consistently. So, as far as this “quest” goes I’ve failed in the past. I haven’t paid attention to credibility or accountability aside from a gut feeling of “I think this website seems fishy” or “This seems legit.” However, now I am learning what to look for and how to better verify if it really is legit. I will be more cautious when using Wikipedia and I will check the facts I find there. I am shaking my head in embarrassment as I think of my instructor reading this post but hey, at least I’m being honest. I’m admitting I have a problem, which is the first step. My name is Jami and I’m a Googawikiholic.