It’s so difficult to get accurate information these days! Of course, the key word is “accurate.” There’s plenty of “information.” But how in the world are you supposed to separate what’s credible and accurate from what’s not?
The Internet was supposed to make information gathering better. But, has it? Historically, if you wanted to learn about something, you went to the library. The library only offered books that had been published by a publishing company, with all the vetting that went with it. To get a book published, an author had to prove his or her credibility to a publisher.
As a result, the number of resources available were limited, but the information in those resources was credible.
Nowadays, there aren’t many publishing companies. That’s because we’ve become primarily a paperless society. And, since there are fewer publishers, there’s more self-publishing.
And self-publishing means that anyone can publish anything … credible or not!
Information gathering from the Internet is even worse. It enables people with no credentials at all to promote any thing at all. So, now you’re exposed to people making false testimonials about products, unreliable people selling products, and uneducated people “educating “ you about the science and facts behind their products.
At the crux of it all is the unfortunate fact that there’s a very fine line between “ed” and “ad.”
“Ed” is educating. It’s what your teachers did when you went to school. Education is purely informational for the sake of knowledge itself. It has no agenda. It consists of principles that you can apply to anything. And education is powerful because it equips you with a knowledge base to assess products on your own. When someone educates you, they do not stand to gain something based on how you utilize that education.
“Ad” is advertising. Advertising is necessary for selling. It’s a means to get people to buy something. It has absolutely nothing to do with educating. It has to do with convincing, regardless of facts. And it includes distortions of the truth and false claims.
So, with all the resources in our Internet-governed, paperless world, you are the target of a whole lot of advertising disguised as educating.
Advertisers start out with a kernel or two of “educational” information. That gets your attention. It’s the hook. But then, they start veering off into information manipulation so that you assume they’re still educating you.
They’ve switched gears without your knowledge. And now there in the process of advertising.
But, since they’ve gotten you “primed” with the initial educational tidbit, you’re now gullible and ripe for a sale. And you don’t even realize that your “educator” has transformed into a “advertiser”!
An educator’s reward is your understanding. Knowledge is the currency. If you learn, the educator was successful. If you don’t, they failed. Not so for the advertiser. The advertiser cares only about his or her own pocketbook. The goal is the sale. If you buy, it’s a success. If you don’t it’s a failure.
With so many people being much more adept at advertising than educating, you hardly recognize the difference.
Don’t fall for this. Avoiding it is very simple: If there’s a product involved, run!
No person with any product will ever tell you the truth, period. They don’t care about the truth. They care about the sale. And they’ll say whatever they have to say to make the sale. Your knowledge is of no interest to them.
So, get your education from resources that are purely educational. Make sure the educator doesn’t have any biases, doesn’t belong to any company that sells products, and doesn’t stand to gain anything by what you do with your new knowledge.
Any person who has a personal interest in your choice of products is not an educator. They’re an advertiser.
This fine line between “ed” and “ad” is subtle. But once you know how to recognize it, you’ll spot it easily. And when you do, leave the website, turn the channel, or find another YouTube video.
And always remember, if there’s a product involved, run!