Sunday, November 14, 2010

On the Explosion of Well-Meaning Advice

I'm normally a happy guy. I love people. I laugh a lot. 

Perhaps it's my advancing decrepitude that prevails when it comes to explaining my grumpiness about certain things in life. Maybe I'm just getting happy about bitching. But truth is I am becoming increasingly, effervescently, joyously pissed about stuff. 

Top of my list has always included the tongue-wagging, well-meaning comments that begin with the words "you should" or "try to"...

Well-meaning advice has always been all around us in form of friends and relatives ("Dear Abby" always seemed to be very sufficient when things needed to be aired out of the community) and up to now we've learned to deal with this type of information with kindness and politeness (if not the occasional gnashing of teeth).

But now the web is rampant with advice. Oh joy. We now have self-professed life coaches, business consultants, health experts, attitude adjustment therapists, coach coaches and gurus galore.

Thanks to the internet, we don't have to depend on mere family, community friends and wide variety of news services for well-meaning personal advice. We now have access to a myriad of so-called 'experts' on various topics including: parenting, divorcing, business dealings, web SEO, web site optimization, sexual competency, social media, what to eat, what not to eat, what causes cancer, what didn't cause cancer in the past but now does, how to slim down, how to bulk up, how to reduce debt, handle debt, get out of debt, build a nest egg, how to Feng Shui your home, what facets to buy for your bathroom, how to interview someone, how to prepare for an interview, how to prepare a résumé to get an interview. We know, through these learned sites and blogs: what exercises to do, what exercises not to do, how to act, how not to act, what wine to drink with whatever you're eating, what movies you should watch, what people to watch, what food to eat, what food to watch, how to 'properly' handle bereavement, how to deal with homesickness or possible alcohol, psoriasis, relationship, insomnia, anger, or procrastination problems... I'm just touching the tip of the iceberg here.

I could go on.

But then I'd be giving advice.

Rant over...


  1. Love it Rand! Thank you, thank you!


  2. In the words of our Canadian communications scholar Marshall McLuhan "the medium is the message" is yet another example of how modern forms of communication follow age old patterns of change. Knowledge production, expression and dissemination have always given the impression of new ways of thinking through new means of communication. The greatest difference here is how the accessibility of this new global phenomenon gives the adjective mass authentic meaning as knowledge is communicated to the largest audiences ever. The relative ease with which we can state opinions through new modes of communication also presents questions about what constitutes accurate or validated knowledge in both an objective and subjective analysis. Thus the growth of the everyday expert on any topic, and the need to express this expertise, is rampant!

    So, yes, LOL, I agree!