Sunday, June 19, 2011

My Love/Hate Relationship With The Net

 Another guest blogger. Enjoy

There are a lot of things I don't like about Facebook, Twitter and the Internet.

I don't like how the Internet splits up our information source--so instead of everyone reading a headline and then forming opinions on it, we get news from so many separate and sometimes unequal places of knowledge (Huffington Post, the Drudge Report, CNN) that the credibility of the facts we get are oftentimes up for grabs.

I don't like that search engines--like Google for example--apparently track the kind of links we click on, keep score, and then "feed" us what they think we want to read when we next search a topic. The engines filter our information based on our past choices, which is okay if there's a disclaimer on top of the screen that says "Hey, I'm giving you this because you last clicked "Paris Hilton" when you were eating that gallon of ice cream and having a down day about your break up when you last searched Paris. Do you really want me to send you to a similar kind of meaningless, airy website about an heiress who does mindless things with her millions with today's new search for "Paris" or do you want to learn about the real city, its history and culture?"

All of this means you and I may not get the same knowledge about politics or food or what's going on in Afghanistan--and that leads to a much grander worry that the world will become more separate than equal. And now that I've scared you, let me tell you what I love about Facebook, Twitter and the Internet. I love--and I mean LOVE--that I can reach out to people all over the world in a moment of fear and doubt and get help when I need it. Like this week for example--

when I got an email about a doctor in Texas who allegedly has the "cure" for cancer, but--and this is where it gets scary for me--has been allegedly "suppressed" by the FDA and the government. Talk about hitting me in my sweet spot--I got so worried and upset I spent three hours googling, searching and otherwise trying to find out who this doctor is and what his treatments are--and worse, if I've been sold a bill of goods by the entire medical establishment over these last 7 years as I try to (now) beat back metastatic breast cancer at age 45.

I'm still working on that last part--I have no idea what to say about Dr. Burzynski and his antineoplastons. I'll keep googling--and asking questions, and using the Internet to help me separate fact from fiction. And for that I am FOREVER grateful for cyberspace and all of our choices out there--whether I've been handed them on a silver search platter or not.

But I absolutely LOVE Facebook, Twitter and the Internet for this one reason--my friends out there who are helping me weigh in on this huge, important, life-in-the-balance matter by reading what I post, doing their own research and then commenting and helping me figure this mess out. I know our IT World is a crazy one--full of potential misrepresentations, mistakes and misnomers--

but knowing I have people from San Francisco to an island 20 miles off the coast of Maine helping me figure out my scared-out-of-my-wits fears-for-my-life makes me feel like I am not alone--that I can do this, I will figure it out.

And if that's the price I pay for spliced up news and misdirected cyber information, I'll pay that bill-- all day long.

About the Guest blogger: Ann Murray Paige is the author of 'pink tips. breast cancer advice from someone who's been there,' available at  She is an award-winning writer, co-founder of the breast cancer non-profit Project Pink, mother, wife, blogger and breast cancer fighter now battling metastatic breast cancer.  Read her blog, "Ann's Diary" at


  1. Solid points in this article. I am happy that I found this post today it is something that I needed to hear. I often consider how the government and media outlets skew or present issues. We all know there are two sides to every story and it seems the almighty dollar often plays a bigger influence than we think.

  2. There are some great points here. Instead of being surrounded by "facts", people should go directly to the best sources for info. Call a doctor for medical info, watch TV or visit for the News, call a therapist for mental health treatment, and even visit your local mall for daily deals.