Social Media, Where Bad Advice Is Par For The Course

The Internet has no shortage of advice, that’s for sure. There’s plenty of people every which way you click that are ready to tell you how to live your life and solve your problems, whether it’s solicited or not.


What the Internet and Social Media is lacking is actual good advice.

We’re a bunch of enablers, mostly pushing the addict towards their vice. We’re happy to suggest going off your diet, sharing too much information, having one too many glasses of wine, shirking responsibilities, pushing others to make demands of people, to disregard real-life friends and family’s feelings, and pushing each other to do what feels right and follow their dreams forgetting that the person we push to do whatever frivolous advice we give them without an invested regard may follow through and actually screw up their lives.

The worst piece of advice I hear people saying is to “do what you love.” I’m sorry, but I’m skeptic that actually works; I’d venture to say that it’s more the exception than the rule. Contrary to what we are raised to believe, even through adulthood, opportunities are not limitless. In the real world things we love, like the arts, being creative, sports and playing on the job don’t pay well. You can’t both live the dream and also actually have the dream. Our society doesn’t usually reward the dreamers- unless you are one in a million, so why do we insist to pretend that following your dreams is a good idea?

No, it doesn't

No, it doesn’t

Telling someone through a computer screen to quit their jobs and follow their dreams is easy, but when they support a family of five their dreams probably won’t pay their bills and put food in their kid’s mouths. That may be the fun version of advice, but not necessarily very smart. We suggest that inspirational catch phrases somehow replace thinking things through and making smart choices. I see this in real life also, but really magnified online. We give others the advice we wish we could take in our own imaginary dream world- because sometimes the internet feels like it’s filled with imaginary 2-D people and relationships where we only pay attention to the greatest-hits reels of people’s Instagramed lives, not the 3-D consequences part.

I see this all the time. People- no, actually hordes and groups of people, just giving bad advice- and telling people that hehe– nothing matters. And it’s not just that- it’s asking a group of strangers what you should do about a medical condition and it’s everyone in that group all telling you some different old wives tale. Sorry, the masses on social media are not a replacement for a doctor, not anymore than Google is. Have you ever typed a question into a search engine or Facebook, for instance how to save your phone after it’s been through the washing machine and you get all these responses that people swear by like, “just put it in rice, take the battery out, put it in the freezer”- but really none of those is going to save your trashed phone. You can find every perfect solution on how to repel mosquitoes on Pinterest- sorry, none of them work. Ever post the latest relationship drama and everyone will tell you this or that? Mostly terrible ways to handle life. And don’t get me started on giving advice to people raising children. A lot of theories, not many helpers.

I would suggest to stop seeking or taking other people’s advice that have no vested interest in your actual life.. but I’m not even going to advocate that this piece of advice would be any better than theirs.

Imaginary Friends don't care if they give you bad advice

2-D Friends don’t care if they give you bad advice


4 responses to “Social Media, Where Bad Advice Is Par For The Course

    • thanks for the link- that post was quite interesting. The part that stuck with me was, “A man who procrastinates in his CHOOSING will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.” SO maybe we *can* follow our dreams, but if we wait too long sometimes our dreams are no longer a choice. For instance anyone can dream about running to be president of the United States, but you can’t just dream that dream up when you are 50 and hope it comes true, you have had to lived a certain path in life to get you on the track where it’s going to be an option.

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