What’s a reliable source of information?

Where Are You Getting Your Information From?

Unfortunately, for most people I already know the answer & it’s exactly why I’m writing this. I’m constantly seeing & hearing people talk about something they’ve watched, read or was told about and taking the information as facts and then living their lives based off of it. The most recent case of this comes in the form of a NETFLIX movie (they call it a documentary) called ‘The Game Changers’……………yes, a NETFLIX movie aka a mockumentary. Now other than the fact that these types of documentaries are usually made with a strong bias, most likely financed from a company supporting that bias & are usually full of misleading so called ‘’facts’’. You should not be going to NETFLIX for your information on health and fitness, you wouldn’t go to the doctors for a movie recommendation on a Saturday night. 


Don’t Believe Everything You Hear


I see misleading information all the time on tv and especially social media. I’m seeing it and it frustrates me as I know someone is sitting there, knowing no different & believing all that’s being said. There could be so many reasons as to why this information is spreading around. A high chance is due to marketing strategies from companies trying to make some money. Another top reason is usually word of mouth, the moment someone learns something that’s wrong but believes it to be right, chances are they will then tell someone else and the game of Chinese whispers has begun. Anytime you hear any information, and this can go for outside of the health & fitness realm, the first thing you should do is question it. Once you’ve done that, question it again. You need to think, how reliable is this information, is it valid but most importantly is it backed up. 


Is It Backed Up?


Where is the information coming from? I’m not just talking about where you directly are receiving the information but the source of that information. All information should & needs to be backed up with solid scientific evidence as to whether it is true or not. 


Even if someone says it is backed up, without the proof you need to be sceptical. If someone says there’s research proving it then you need to be asking them where the evidence is, can you see it etc. Throughout my time at university we were told to be sceptics, even when looking at scientific research. All the information I had to use in any assignments, had to come with a reference(s) to a research paper(s) which backs up what I’m saying. This meant I had to use the likes of ‘Google Scholar’ and read through loads of different papers on the topic I was writing about, this meant I was getting 1st hand information. Due to me having to read large amount of papers on one topic it allowed me to get a full understanding of it. For example, If I just read the one paper and it showed that the topic had negative effects on performance, that’s what I’d believe and all I would know. Reading on through another 5 papers, which all say the opposite, my mind then changes and I’ve learnt it has a positive effect. It was just that one paper for whatever had a different outcome, this can then be put down as anomaly. 


Don’t Be Fooled By Looks


I’ve seen instructions on how to make jam on toast look like the most beautiful bit of literature you’ve ever seen. Just because something looks official or very factual, that doesn’t mean that it is. To market something, companies will go all out of making it look amazing and appealing to their target audience. Going make to the likes of ‘The Game Changers’, it’s a movie. They cut a very good trailer together & got loads of big-name stars in it. This built so much hype around it, and for some people, those big names added to the credibility of everything you hear. They most likely got paid a very nice amount of money to appear, some will even just say stuff for the sake of a good pay day. 


Even research papers can catch you out. It could be a 100% perfect paper, all official, done correctly as any scientific piece of research is done. With all this still it doesn’t mean the paper is any good, you will need to dissect the paper and look at how the testing was run to see if it was done well. There will always be reasons as to why a result may have come about. 


So What Do We Do Then?


Just be a little bit more aware that all information may not be correct or not 100% correct anyway. Your neighbour’s cousin could tell you 100% true and correct information on a topic, but you shouldn’t just assume that, take it in, understand it and then go off and do a bit of research yourself to back up this new found information. 

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