Says the person who gets on the Internet to warn you about the internet.
Here’s an alternative proposal:
Don’t trust the people who tell you to mistrust the internet.
Do I propose this idea because I naively believe that the Internet is a fully safe place to do research? No. I propose this idea because the medium does not determine the truth or falsity of the message.
If something is useful or true, it doesn’t matter where you find it. It doesn’t matter if you read it in the encyclopedia or if the guy at the grocery store told you. The truth doesn’t become true because of who said it or because of the medium where it was expressed. The truth is truth because it’s supported by evidence and because it can be independently verified.
So instead of focusing on where information is found, focus on the need to think critically at all times about everything that anyone says no matter where they said it.
Don’t close your mind to things that are on the Internet. And don’t turn your brain off just because something has been written down in an “official” source.
Instead of falling for oversimplified clichés like “don’t trust what you read on the Internet”, just be the kind of person who refuses to trust in anything or anyone more than the careful exercise of your own judgment.
At least that’s the way I see it.