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Anonymous online advice

I decided to make this post because I've received and seen online a lot of requests for advice on which devices and products to purchase. This is of particular importance because 9 out of 10 times you don't know who's giving it to you. Exercise critical thinking because advice even from multiple sources can sometimes be questionable whether intentional or not.

There are two main things to watch out for:

#1. Hive mind behavior

Most of us think of ourselves as individuals but when we become part of a group we can quickly change. Behavior, ideas, and beliefs can spread like a virus which can lead to your loss of individual thought. This is called deindividuation. Google it for more info. This can manifest itself in groups whether geographic or online.

This hive mind group think is the worst in my opinion. There are God knows how many people giving advice with no actual firsthand experience, knowledge, or with alternate solutions. Some of these people are simply passing along information they have read or heard enough times online that it is now programmed in their brain as being true because "everybody knows" it. It's on the Internet so it must be true.

This causes many to go along with what is most popular, etc. because they have become conditioned to follow the group. They will self censor and self police themselves and others to follow the group's thought/behavior/etc.

#2. Tainted advice

There are people on forums and elsewhere using anonymous user names. Some of them are actually dealers, have industry ties (such as associates/friends), or are "unofficial" resellers. I know this for fact. All of which may taint their advice depending on what they sell, have in stock, or who their friends are. There is also a very real dealer influence. Many people wish to remain in the good graces of their preferred dealer(s) and they won't do or say anything that is counterproductive to the dealer(s).

Social media influencers can be a double-edged sword. They can produce good & interesting independent content. They can also produce content that is strictly for marketing purposes either overtly or covertly (like a Coke can in the background in a movie). It's pretty obvious to spot the marketing campaigns because you will see the same product being reviewed/shown by multiple sources during the same time frame. Sometimes it is just a "hot" product that everyone wants to get their hands on. You have to read between the lines.


I am not saying do not trust any advice on the internet. I am saying to be careful in particular with anonymous advice. Of course it's always a good idea to do research and come to your own conclusions. You have a source you fully trust? Awesome.

I am not anti industry or dealer. There is excellent advice provided from end users, dealers, and industry people. There is also heavily tainted advice that I have seen firsthand. You can't fault the dealers/industry people because after all they are trying to sell products. I do fault dealers & resellers who post anonymously to shape opinion or advice in their favor. That's B.S.

I do my very best to only provide information or give advice based on my own firsthand experience. It can be a balancing act because occasionally someone is bound to get upset. Don't take my advice as gospel either. Although I share my experiences and opinions, that is exactly what they are - mine. Your needs may be different.

Don't do or buy something just because it's what everyone else did or recommends. Do your own research, ask multiple people from different sources, and come to your own conclusions using critical thinking to make the best decision for YOU.

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