For many people who grew up using the Internet to do online searches and write reports for school and work, doing research online may come second nature. But for the more mature audiences, knowing how to spot good information online can be a bit trickier. So if you have elderly loved ones that you want to be able to find quality information online without being tricked or bamboozled, you may need to step in and help them learn how to best do this.
To help you see how this can be done, here are three things to teach your elderly loved ones about doing online research.
Question The Authority Of The Poster
While many people realize that anyone can post just about anything online, it’s also easy to forget about this when reading something that supports the beliefs that you already have. But to make sure you and your elderly loved one are getting accurate information, it’s vital that you teach them how to learn about and question the authority of the poster of the information.
First, you should help them learn how to determine who the author of the information is and what ties they might have to other people or organizations. Keep in mind that if it’s hard to determine who wrote something online, it’s likely because that person is trying to hide something. So if it’s ever unclear, advise your elderly loved one to take that information with a grain of salt.
Don’t Underestimate Wikipedia
While you may not want to go to Wikipedia to get all of your information, especially if your elderly loved one is seeking specific information about things like assisted living communities or what product to buy for a specific purpose, Wikipedia can be a good source for basic information about things.
Although anyone with an account can post things on Wikipedia pages, all information needs to be cited. And if your elderly loved one is just trying to get a foundational knowledge and understanding about something, starting in Wikipedia could be a great choice.
Be Wary Of Sites Trying To Sell Something
Something else that you’ll want to advise your elderly loved ones about when researching something online is that they need to be wary of websites that are trying to sell something.
When people have money on the line, they’ll say and do things that may or may not be true or accurate. So before trusting a claim that’s made on just one website, teach your elderly loved ones how to determine who would be getting paid from the website they’re on and what their stake in their decision likely would be.
If you want to help your elderly loved ones find more reliable information online, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you teach them how.