Broker Check

Too Much Information

Too Much Information

| July 25, 2023

Did you know as of 2023 there are over 1.13 billion websites on the internet?1 In 1996, there were only around 100,000. At what point, is there too much information out there?

Have you ever tried to self-diagnose a few health symptoms? After Googling for a while, you might just learn you only have a few hours left to live!

True Story: A friend’s husband was scheduled for a stress test and wanted to be absolutely sure that there’s no caffeine found in orange juice. So, he went to Google.  He was able to verify there’s no caffeine in OJ, but he also learned something else—how to knock off his wife with a combination of orange juice and toothpaste!

There is no doubt that the instant availability of information in today’s world is at times truly life changing. However - if we aren’t careful - it could be our demise.

“Knowledge is knowing tomatoes are a fruit, but wisdom is knowing they shouldn’t go in a fruit salad.” -Brian O’Driscoll

True wisdom can only be gained through experience and this is something 1.13 billion websites, unfortunately, can’t give you.

More and more we see “DIY” (Do It Yourself) websites, blogs and YouTube videos. You can find anything from minor or major home repairs to legal documents, income tax information, home loans or financial advice to “how to perform open heart surgery.” Obviously, we all hope that no one would attempt the latter, but at what point do we know what we don’t know that might or will hurt us?

Sadly, it is usually after the damage is done and it’s too late. Imagine a home loan with an annual increasing interest rate and you can’t get refinanced. Imagine being disinherited from your retirement income unintentionally by your spouse. Better yet, imagine being disinherited entirely, but unintentionally by your spouse.

Imagine fighting over tens of thousands of dollars in taxes and penalties against the IRS without an accountant because you took a deduction no one told you that you couldn’t take. Imagine your family needing life insurance only to find out what they thought you had isn’t there. Imagine running out of money. These decisions can and have resulted from knowledge picked off the internet from random and incomplete searches – the knowledge was there perhaps, but the wisdom to know how and when to apply it cannot be found on the web. By definition, wisdom is only derived through learning and experience – not found in bytes and random data.

DIY projects aren’t always as neat and simple as they are portrayed. In fact, when it comes to your health and your wealth, we would recommend just steering clear. You need your family practitioner for both—someone who knows everything about you, has experience and can help you get the medicine you need for the flu and can call in the heart surgeon at the right time. What does it mean to you to “live Life on purpose?” Don’t let a DIY project force you to live by default.