I gave up Google rather abruptly when my daughter was diagnosed with a very rare illness at 2. The illness is on a spectrum, and so by Googling I would have discovered what is at the bad end. Our consultant asked that we therefore Google it ourselves and let her provide the information, which was obviously more specific to our daughter’s case and was also far more reliable. At first I balked at the idea – it’s usually the first port of call when anyone is ill, but I knew the anxiety this kind of unguided ‘research’ by someone who knows nothing about modern medicine can cause.
A new study by Private Midwives revealed that
1 in 4 (27%) pregnant women are turning to the internet for pregnancy-related advice or info as often as every few days – with 1 in 10 even consulting it daily!
Over half (53%) will turn to the internet for non-emergency advice or info before consulting anyone or anything else.
AND YET, 41% of mums-to-be felt search engines were more likely than any other source to provide information which causes anxiety.
It’s been such a relief kicking my own Google habit. I call 111 if I’m unsure, or I’ll have a quick browse of the NHS website for verified, reliable advice. No longer so I get stuck in a vortex of cancer symptoms and graphic poo analysis only to realise the parents discussing it on the forum I’ve landed on are actually NOT doctors but self-proclaimed experts who are actually fellow hypochondriacs with children who shit a lot.
What’s really nice is how often I now speak to real people. I’ll ask my neighbour for her preferred chicken pox solution, or how she coaxed her daughters through sleep regression, and I’ll quickly realise I’m overthinking a lot of it all, and there’s nothing to worry about. I also send pictures of my child’s rashes to friends OBVIOUSLY – doesn’t everyone?!
p.s. she’s ok now, by the way x