The Internet ?V? In-Person Advice
The world wide web – also known as the information highway – is a global hub that provides an invaluable variety of services including communication, retail and knowledge. More and more recently the internet is also being used as a portal for advice on almost any subject. While the internet can seem a one stop shop for advice there’s also concerns being raised about the quality or authority of advice being given and whether the internet should ever replace in-person interaction.
One area where concern is particularly strong is the use of health websites that offer online diagnosis or medicines. Although some sites are legitimate and staffed by dedicated health workers, the advice on unregulated websites could lead visitors to make unsupported or even dangerous decisions about their health. Registered doctors strongly advise patients against buying prescription medicines from online retailers and instead advocate meeting in-person with a registered health professional and discussing their concerns face to face.
Another area that’s seen particular growth in recent years is the comparison website which offers visitors the chance to compare deals on life insurance, mortgage offers and even air travel from numerous different providers. While meeting in-person with a financial adviser or mortgage broker will allow you impartial advice to some degree, comparison websites allow quick and easy results from a plethora of sources so visitors can find the best deal for them. Regulated by the financial services authority, comparison websites are – so far – one area where online advice could be seen to outweigh the capabilities of an in-person service.
Although the web offers advice on almost every area of a person’s life, there are still some attributes of meeting an advisor in-person that have yet to be translated online. The first of which is them getting to know you as a person not just an online profile or email recipient. While concerns and questions can easily be typed into an email or search box, it isn’t until you meet someone in-person that qualities like body language and trust can come to the fore.
During this short discussion of the value of online and in-person advice, it would seem there are pros and cons on both sides of the table. Perhaps the best way to approach this debate however, is to attempt to get the best from both, being aware of the pitfalls and strengths of each in order for individuals the best possible advice when the time requires it.
Harvey is passionate about getting you the best advice possible.