The internet is undoubtedly a fantastic resource, and most of us rely on it every day. But there are certain things you should not trust it with – namely, your health. It is tempting to see Google as an infallible resource when it comes to almost everything, and many people will turn to it to solve life’s problems. In many situations this is fair enough (how did anyone get anywhere before Google Maps??). But it is important to realise that Google cannot diagnose your illness based on your search results. Today we are going to look at why you should end your relationship with Dr Google.
Why is Dr Google so Popular? Dr Google Will See You Now
Unbelievably, one in three people with a minor illness will not only self diagnose using Google search, but most of them will also often self treat too!
The top ten searches of 2018 show that health conditions and self-diagnosis now takes up 34% of all searches on Google.
While some people think this will take the pressure off the health services and doctors around the world, there is evidence to suggest that it actually adds to the amount of pressure they have to face. Doctors are now being presented with patients that have either been self-medicating or demand unnecessary tests based on search results.
Why Dr Google Is Dangerous
As we have briefly mentioned, Dr Google can throw up any number of results and a lot of the time; this can result in patients self-diagnosing and self-medicating. There is a very good reason that a lot of drugs aren’t available over the counter; they are dangerous. Unfortunately, a lot of people are taking their digital diagnosis and taking to online marketplaces to locate drugs to treat imaginary illnesses. Where people aren’t self-medicating, they are proceeding to book emergency medical appointments for what generally turns out to be nothing at all. Unfortunately Dr Google and the magic diagnosis system is quite often incorrect in its diagnosis. Dr Google is even responsible for the rise of a brand new health condition called “cyberchondria”. Cyberchondria is a person’s rise in concern about symptoms they feel they have based on the search results they see from Google.
It’s Time To See A GP
Undoubtedly the internet is an amazing resource, but you should always remember that it can also be full of misleading information. Some observers have labelled it “the world’s biggest game of Chinese whispers.” This is why if you have concerns about your health it is always best to visit your GP. While Google may play host to a world of information, your GP is the Google of the medical world. Your doctor will be able to help you quickly, efficiently and safely when you need them most. GP’s have received many years of training and specialise in general medicine. This experience will never be replaceable by a computer, and you should always be safe when thinking about your health.