Let's leave research to real researchers


I am going to say here, on the record, that I have never done any research.

None. Zero. Zilch.

Research takes expertise in a certain field and time – a lot of time. As in it can take years to do serious research. OK, I did “research” papers when I was in school, but we all know that is not real research.

This is how the word “Research” is defined: “The systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions.”

Systematic, investigation, study, materials, sources. Sorry, but that sounds like a lot of work to me.

Apparently, however, we are surrounded by people doing incredibly in-depth research all the time. Just check you social media. Your aunt has “researched” this, and your friend from high school – who was never the brightest bulb – has “researched” that. They have both reached conclusions that make you wonder about their sanity.

Welcome to 2021.

The Internet is great for searching for things. I have recently been searching touring histories of rock bands I saw decades ago to see who the opening bands were. I simply couldn’t remember so the magic of the Internet helped me out. I wouldn’t call that research.

I also recently bought a new piece of electronics and wanted to know how it stacked up to others. I read a lot about specific features of a variety of similar items, perused multiple reviews and made a decision on what to buy.

Research? No.

Making a decision about something – from what car to buy to what jeans will make you feel 40 again – we all use the Internet to gather information before making a decision. But that is not research. That is gathering information about items and products. Things that are not life and death. Things that are just, well, things.

I have many friends who post items on Facebook or Twitter about their “research.” I can only shake my head in disbelief. Just because Aliendude2112 believes he saw E.T. on top of a water tower in Pinedale, Wyo., doesn’t make it fact.

Sorry if I don’t trust the word of strangers, or even distant family members who can barely hold down a job.

“I never knew cousin Frank was so smart until he posted that he researched the COVID-19 shot and found out they use government tracking stuff to make us all sheep or something.”

Maybe this is a bit exaggerated, but it is sadly not that far off.

Research is not going out and looking for information that only supports what you already think. That is the opposite of research. Science is about challenging current thinking on something and proving or disproving it.

I, for one, and thankful that serious people who actually do research for a living understand the importance of real research and spend the days, weeks, months and years doing it. They make all of our lives better.

That guy who works at the restaurant you like that says the water has a drug in it to make us more docile? I probably won’t be taking him seriously.

So, let’s not get our “facts” from the Internet, or social media. And let’s not do our own “research.” We don’t know how to do that.

Let’s listen to experts in their field. To me, that seems like the smart thing to do.