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How do you get the right information? Where do you go to get up to date, accurate information that suits your needs? There is no one answer to this question. In these times where we have access to a vast amount of ever changing information from many sources presented in various media, the search for knowledge can be overwhelming.
The internet provides long in depth articles, brief outlines and every length inbetween on just about any topic. It provides access to research and studies, some at a professional or university level. You may have to pay to access some journals or reports.
The web also provides personal experiences not presented in professional studies. These may be easier to understand and make the reader feel supported and understood. They may give practical suggestions for dealing with a problem, whether that be a household repair or dealing with a government department.
It may be possible to join the discussion in a forum or leave comments and read the reactions of other readers. This type of site can be useful for carers and people in need of support, including those on a waiting list for a medical appointment.
As well as getting information through reading on the internet there are videos, podcasts and all sorts of other ways of presenting facts and opinions.
One has to be aware anyone can put 'information' on the internet so it will not always be accurate. On the other hand, a plus of the internet is the ease with which information can be updated.
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Some argue the internet is causing the brain to deteriorate because people don't train their memories to recall facts any more but are more likely to just know how to get the information they need from the internet. I still remember some of the facts I learnt in primary school. In 1966 I learnt the population of Great Britain was 54 million. I checked just now in case that was incorrect and found the population was in fact 54.65 million. Of what use is that fact now in 2017? I think it is more useful that I know how to look up the current population of any country I am interested in.
There are online books but I am thinking about the old style paper type. Traditional hard copy books may give in depth information, could be well researched and have probably been proofread by a number of people before going to print.
However, you may read a complete book and not have the answer to your questions. A book may be out of date, not contain the latest theories and only give one opinion. If you want the other side of the picture after reading something online, you just google your question.
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A magazine, journal or periodical article may be easier to read than a long book. Similar to an internet article, it may be in point form and with headings making it easy to absorb. Hopefully it will be current. Perhaps it won't give the whole picture because of space restrictions.
Articles in a newspaper are usually short with little detail. Important information may have been omitted. Research may have been limited because of a deadline or the end of a long piece may have been cut off so it would fit in the space available. National newspapers may give more depth and be less sensationalised. Information should be easy to read as many newspapers aim at the reading age of someone who has had 9 years of schooling.
Other sources of information
Information is presented in far too many ways to address them all. Sometimes you already know someone in your network who has the information you need. Wow, that was easy.
It is easy to suffer information overload. Just when I think I have grasped the 'facts' of a topic I come across something else which contradicts what I thought was 'truth'. In spite of this I appreciate the ease with which one can access information of all types these days.