Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

How To Trust Strangers Online

Everyone with wifi has access to thousands of websites, videos, blogs and news articles that all claim to be speaking the truth. 

“People only use 10% of their brains.” “Drinking orange juice helps fight the common cold.” “Dog mouths are cleaner than human mouths.”

All of these ideas seem plausible. But do you really know?

Unless you’re an expert on the subject, you can’t tell fact from fiction. And unless you’re a genius with a lifespan of a few thousand years, you don’t have the time to be an expert on everything.

So you must rely on others for information.

But how do you know who to trust?

Firstly, authority. 

Neil Degrasse Tyson is an authority on everything space. And Jackie Chan is an authority on diving through or over any obstacle while beating up a room of bad guys. 

Things get a little more difficult when the authority is a stranger to you.

In that case you want to check the author’s background and sources, and see if they have a robust system for checking facts.

Does the author have no professional background, sources or fact-checking system?

Then you don’t want to give their work much weight. In that case, use their work as a springboard and dive into the subject more deeply and see what the real experts say.

Whatever you do, remember this:

It’s always a dialogue between you and the author. 

Does an argument or fact strike you as odd or unbelievable? Don’t embrace it as truth, compare it with the views of the world’s leading experts.

The more support a fact gets from authoritative figures, the more likely it’s true. And vice versa.

Stay skeptical, my friend.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach