What do you not ask the internet about?
This could be for any number of reasons. The reason I was thinking of this, was realizing that there are certain topics that I could probably find the answers to online, but I happen to have a friend who is an expert in that field. So it's usually easier to ask them, and trust that their answer is either accurate or that they will tell me "I don't know".
The other aspect of it was, there are certain topics that are likely to be extremely "noisy" with disinformation (intentional or otherwise) or ads online, and so I'll avoid trying to research them and instead ask a friend.
I usually don’t ask the internet for restaurant recommendations in an area so long as I have a friend living there. I typically don’t ask for fashion or aesthetic advice either as I have people in my life I trust much more on those fronts than random people online!
I've also given up on restaurant recommendations, because the last times I've tried it its been mostly useless.
I search for something like "good reuben sandwich in nyc", all the results are SEO spam or aggregates, or just filtering of places that have "reuben" on the menu, ranked by the restaurants rating. I don't want that, I want to know where I can go to get a quintessential reuben, I want to go to a place that's known for having a good reuben, I want people's first hand experience that that reuben is good and that if someone asks me where I can get a good reuben in the future, its that place.
The most promising part of that search, as always, was adding "reddit" to the query and looking up those results. Unfortunately those results were years old and most of those places closed.
Restaurant recommendations to me feels like one of those searches where there's a surfeit of information, but its noisy and useless.
Food critics tend to be good for getting recommendations. Generally speaking if someone wrote an article about how good the food is and got it published it's going to legitimately be good food. But people don't tend to have very refined palates generally speaking, so searching review sites will only tell you how good the service and environment are, or give you the gist of the menu (which is kind of redundant since many restaurants keep their menus online these days).
Reddit continues to decrease in quality, but I find city reddits to still be useful if it is a city that really likes food and is not New York, SF or LA.
Like @arghdos said, google maps can be really effective. I ate at my first michelin star restaurant in nyc that way (and it was amazing, totally lived up to michelin’s hype).
Sounds like we have had similar experiences, down to adding "reddit" to the search term and finding years old closed restaurants! I have found that TikTok actually has pretty good, current recommendations if you just search "city name + restaurants". They tend on the trendier/insta-ready side but it is still better than sorting through pages of junk on google.
Honestly, this is one of the parts of the internet I get the most use out of. I have very wide ranging and eclectic food tastes (in general, I usually prefer something new over something I’ve had before), and relatively few of my friends (at least the ones I travel with) are the same.
My formula for nearly 5 years now has been:
From there, survey the options. Look for restaurants with ethnic cuisine you’ve never had before — remember you’re grading “new” on a curve. For instance, if you’re new to (e.g.,) Thai, probably any place will do. But once you’ve been to a a few places, you might start to ask, “what is this meat salad called larb, and do I like it?”, or you might start to pick up on menus written in Thai, or you might get really excited when you find a place that has 5 different types of laab (looking at you MaoMao).
Rinse and repeat for any ethnicities of your choice, and you will become quite good at picking restaurants out in new places (or at least, that’s what my wife tells me). You will also go to a lot of places where they don’t speak English (which is always a sign you’re in the right place), or, as a friend recently told me, you might be somewhere where the fumes from the gas station next door to pair well with the ga prow, or, as my wife recently told me, you might find the best Cuban sandwich you’ve had your life next to the sketchiest Kratom shop in Florida.
This 100% does not work for me for “American” food, and only very occasionally for high-end dining (having a reviewer with similar tastes matters), but I have little interest in that anyway. Nor do I know if it would work for anyone else. If food reviewers work for you, more power too you.
But the internet is my absolutely vital source of new places to try.
I don't ask for relationship advice on the internet. Sensible people tend to not respond, and when they do it's usually with well-meaning generalities because they understand it is impossible to do anything else due to a lack of context and information. Such generalities can be useful at times, but I'm at an age where most "low-hanging fruit" is either known or already addressed. I'm no relationship wizard, I've just been through a lot in that area.
Non-sensible people are more easily found on Reddit, and Reddit's answer to all relationship troubles is "dump them". Complex situations are often reduced to unhelpful binarism: you must either accept the bad behavior or end the relationship right there. No dialog, no middle ground.
And sometimes they even turn against those that seek help.
To be fair to Reddit, it often operates in extremes. It's rarely someone posting about something entirely mundane that makes it to the front page. It's the abusive husband, on the other hand, that receives a lot of attention. Most of the time "dump them" is correct.
With that being said I've always been pretty resistant to anyone's advice on relationships because my entire life I've seen how the lens through which they participate in relationships and the kinds of healthy relationships they've seen tend to heavily frame their responses. They almost always respond with how they'd react in the situation as best as they can see it or as best as you've explained it. This is almost never useful. Especially if they've only ever dated people of one gender, people who act only in certain ways (trope-y example: replacement of parental figures), etc. The older a person is and the more relationships they've had the more likely I am to give them a bit of credence but I've always still been rather cautious when approaching the advice of others for these reasons.
People who are trained (relationship counselors, therapists) are a different story because they have a lens and a tool kit for examining how healthy relationships typically look, but even these folks have gaps in their knowledge. For example, I'm poly, and many of these counselors if they are not also poly don't have the right mindset or tools to accommodate some of the issues that could arise, such as jealousy through the lens of explicit non-monogamy. This is true of any non-traditional aspects to a relationship, and as a rather queer individual who's neurodivergent, this is often the space in which many of my relationships exist.
When you say "ask the internet", do you mean post a question for human beings to answer, or do a web search for answers?
If it's the latter, I don't think there is anything I wouldn't search for except for the obvious personal questions that people wouldn't share on the internet. If it's the former, then it would have to be anything remotely related to personal tastes. I have learned long ago that popularity does not have any relationship to quality and somewhat counterintuitively it doesn't relate to fashionability either. It's more related to culture and typically you don't have to ask those kinds of questions because you get them from the people around you.
When trying things on is easier. For example, if I want a new pair of hiking boots, it's more straightforward to go into an outdoors store and try some on - while asking the staff questions - rather than asking the internet or searching for reviews.
I thought of another!
This I will ask occasionally, but always with great care and only in some places.
Asking for any help or tool (such as a website blocker) which is supposed to curb compulsive behavior is bound to trigger something along the lines of "Why don't you make an effort?", or "Have you tried willpower?".
Well, first, the fact that you're using a tool does not mean you are not making an effort in the same way that wearing good sneakers does not mean you're not running.
Second, yes, I have ADHD, so I do have issues with willpower that works differently than a neurotypical.
Those answers are not only unhelpful, they are demeaning and demotivating. It's like saying "why don't you quit smoking? I never smoked and it's super easy not to smoke". Well, of course, it's easy for you, you are not addicted to it!
What, "Hit the gym, lawyer up, and delete Facebook." isn't the be all and end all of relationship advice?