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NFATCA Report: V21N5

By Jeffrey Folloder

It is said that knowledge is power, and in this day and age, there are an infinite number of sources that are available for one to obtain such knowledge. Some of us may be old enough to remember having a treasured set of reference volumes proudly displayed for family to use: the encyclopedia. Such tomes, nearly out of date before their printing ink is dry, are now woefully archaic. We have the Internet. We have social media. We have Wiki. We have Google. LMGTFY. Seems like a jumble of letters, right? It’s actually an acronym for “Let Me Google That For You.” When somebody asks an innocent question, such as in a Facebook group, the hive mind, in a fit of condescension, will respond with memes (sarcastic cartoons and images) and intonations of LMGTFY. The implication being that all of the answers the innocent inquiry seeks are available with a simple search. Such powerful tools! All the answers are right there for anyone. Except that it is not necessarily so.

Obtaining answers from the Internet can be akin to attempting to get just a sip of water from a fully involved fire hose. Yes, the answer may be in that stream. But there is SO MUCH stream going past; so fast, that you might not get the right answer that you seek. And what if you are fortunate to stumble across a group of “experienced experts” who are all too happy to contribute their opinion on your quest for knowledge? They may mean well, but what if they are wrong? How do you separate the wheat from the chaff?

Take, for example, an inquiry in a Facebook group by what can only be assumed to be a US veteran who was dealing with some very real problems. This person bravely revealed that he was in the middle of treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and that the next steps in the treatment process were looking like a voluntary check into a VA hospital for further psychiatric evaluation and treatment. To his credit, he was inquiring about what to...

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