Information Without the Overload: Practical Advice for Daily Internet Browsing

If you have access to a phone that can connect to the internet, you can immediately get every possible question you could ever ask answered for you in seconds. Ask Google, or another search engine, to help you find an easy recipe for banana bread, and you’ll get hundreds of different answers in a flash.

If you trust the first piece of information you see, you could quickly find yourself purchasing something you don’t even need, or arguing with a person you’ve never met in a random blog’s comment section. You have to be savvy to use the internet properly today. Here’s some practical tips on how to cut through the noise, and make sure what you’re reading is both unbiased and accurate.

Identify and filter out what’s just noise

To skip past the silly, meaningless content and clickbait littering the internet and get right to the heart of what you’re actually after, you need to be able to confidently identify what’s useful and what is just noise. Tools can help. An ad blocker is a great start, as pop-up ads are almost never guiding you to sources that don’t want you to eventually buy something.

Muting or removing social media keywords and hashtags you know won’t be helpful to your search is also worth your time. If you know how to mute words on Twitter, now known as X, searching for information on this site will be a lot less overwhelming. Even when not actively looking for information, muting words can make browsing less of a chore. Use this feature as much as possible to filter out irrelevant topics or distracting, negative threads of discussion.

With less junk to sift through, it’s now simpler to find and read opinions and information you actually wanted to explore in the first place.

Understand that everyone has an agenda online

The next thing an internet browser should know is that very few websites exist purely to offer up unbiased facts and useful information. Most are trying to keep you on their corner of the internet for as long as possible, or hoping you’ll stick around just enough to consider clicking on that colorful “buy now” button. Content is everywhere, but less than half of it is relevant, or even worth looking at.

Learn how to be choosey

If the first link spat out by Google about a very specific topic like buying repossessed cars on auction comes from a website you’ve never heard of, think twice about trusting it off the bat. The information can be helpful, but it’s difficult to know for sure if it’s completely true.

If you search for a piece of news, try your best to stick with search results from reputable news sources like Reuters. If your question is related to a niche like gaming, trust articles from IGN. These sites have a real interest in promoting and sharing information that’s 100% correct. If users didn’t trust what they have to say, they’d fail and fade into obscurity.

Be detailed when asking Google for answers

If you’re asking your preferred search engine very basic, very unspecific questions, you can’t be surprised when it hands you results and links about things you don’t care about. To save time and quickly get hold of only what you want or need, you have to be an expert at refining a search. So, instead of simply asking for tips to help you sleep, try adding as much detail and context to your question as you can. Something like “gadgets and apps to improve sleep quality” will give Google a clearer idea of what you want.

Become efficient with your time

Chances are, you don’t have hours to waste endlessly scrolling when you have a question you need answered right away. So, if you have previously stumbled upon a site you know offers great advice and information, bookmark it for later. Next time you have a similar question, you can bypass that unreliable search engine completely and use the search bar on the site you’ve had a good experience with in the past instead.

Maybe you’re prone to getting distracted. That’s nothing to be ashamed of, the internet is very good at capturing and holding attention. Think about setting up a time limit or using an app to keep on track with time during a hunt for answers. Knowing there’s a limit to how much research can be done will help keep you honed in on your goal.

Trust nothing at face-value

If you were trying to sell your car, you likely wouldn’t simply accept the first price offered by the first dealership, would you? Probably not. You’d want a second opinion, just to make sure that the first figure offered is fair. This same logic is helpful when hunting for information online. If you absolutely need to make sure the information you’re being given is right, take a minute to make sure if the same answer can be found on other sites by fact-checking it.

Finally, be patient

It will take more than just reading this article to become an expert at dodging clickbait and skillfully avoiding useless information. Start with small steps, know that becoming a discerning internet user won’t happen overnight, and make use of every clever tool you can find. It’ll be worth it in the end, and you’ll see progress soon enough.

About Andrew

Hey Folks! Myself Andrew Emerson I'm from Houston. I'm a blogger and writer who writes about Technology, Arts & Design, Gadgets, Movies, and Gaming etc. Hope you join me in this journey and make it a lot of fun.

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