As the years go by, I am becoming more aware of the body's failings, a twitch, a sudden shooting pain in a finger, dry eyes, a list when standing up quickly, a little bump on the breast, a thirstiness, so I go to the internet and search for my 'condition'. And, of course I find a hundred diagnoses that tell me I have diabetes, rheumatism, cancer, high blood pressure, am anaemic, have illnesses with names that are unpronouncable!. Then a week later the symptoms are gone. At least I haven't spend an hour waiting to see a doctor and I may have worried through the dark nights without cause! I thought I had found out the truthful answers on the net!
I saw a new word today in The Age newspaper in the section for Year 12 students, entitled 'Trawling the Net' advising students, surfers beware, as so much is not truth but marketing. The new word to me is 'cybercondria, ' a tendency/mania to self-diagnosis an illness using a search on the net. But, not all sources are reliable, we are warned. Anybody can put anything on a web page purporting to be knowledgable!. And in searches, just how do the top ten get there? Maybe by hook or by crook, not by being the most reliable sites! Well, well! And I thought the truth would be in there.
Also the writer, Vikki Leone reminds us, that 'Critics also point to the cultural limitations of sourcing information on the internet, warning of the over-representation of American culture on the web.' So you're not likely to find a method of stopping a baby with hiccups by tearing a bit of 'Fiji Times' newspaper, licking it, and pasting it on the child's forehead - a Fijian method that works.
Now I have a slight itch in my ear. I had better look that up.