Coping by knowing

Today’s post was going to be a shameless mummy bragging post but something I read last night on a friend’s blog has got me thinking.

Kate Davis is a fellow librarian, library educator and researcher and another #blogjune participant. On Sunday Kate wrote a post On needing to know and information experience on her blog When the moon shines.

Kate shared her need to ‘Google’ everything in order to understand the things she feared. She named this information experience ‘coping by knowing’.

Immediately I felt a connection. Thanks to Kate I not only found somebody else who does the same thing as me, but to give it a name, quantifies it and gives it meaning. This has helped me to understand and dissect my thoughts and feelings on the matter. Does that makes sense??

After I read Kate’s post I was able to identify the ‘coping by knowing’ that I do.

I have to look up information in order to be prepared. If I am going to a different place, a restaurant for example, I look up their website (if they have one) first before I go. I look at menus, not to choose my meal beforehand, just to familiarize myself with the type of food, prices etc.  So I can be in the right mind set for the cuisine and make sure I have enough money for the meal. It is not about not liking surprises (although I can only think of one true surprise in my life, not finding out the sex of my unborn child), but about being mentally prepared.

If I am going to a party, I like to try and find out, or deduct, who the other guests may be before I go. Facebook event invites make this so much easier these days.

If I am going to a new place, I research first.

If I am going to a different doctor or medical specialist, I ‘Google’ them.

Website FAQs and pages for new visitors are written for people like me.

I can cope better if I can find out as much information in advance.

This got me thinking. What did I do before the Internet? How did I cope? Or did I?

I think I used other means of obtaining information if I could. Newspapers, magazines, books, phone books, street directories, pamphlets. This must have been where I first developed my information seeking skills.

Looking back, some situations were a bit more stressful than they are now. Also, I did keep to my small circle of friends. Familiar social experiences and all that.

I have also found that being able to ‘research’ most things before I experience them has allowed me to cope okay with the few times when I can’t or haven’t been able to. I guess because the percentage of times I have not been able to find out information beforehand is not has great as it may have been in the past, then the times I do have to experience something with pre-knowing anything  occurs less frequently, I am able to deal with those possible stressful moments better. A bit like desensitizing someone to a phobia or allergy I suppose.

Reading that back makes me sound like I don’t like to do anything new or go anywhere different . I do, don’t get me wrong, I just need to prepare first. And my way of preparing is by knowing.

So thank you Kate. You have helped me understand a little more about myself and to know I am not alone.

And thank you Internet. You help me to cope by knowing.

4 thoughts on “Coping by knowing

  1. Katerina

    I do a lot of that too. More so now that we lived in new places (Macaky, and Gold Coast) so I google everything from hairdressers to doctors.. and when I organize holidays I really need to have contingency plans! not because I cannot have a relaxing day with just wandering about, but because if we are going to place which we may not go to again, and spent time saving money for it I want to maximize the experience and I want to know as much as I can so I do not miss anything wonderful.

  2. Kate

    There’s safety in knowing but also in numbers. Which is why I think it’s important to share this stuff. Thanks for sharing this part of you.


  3. Jenny

    Putting my hand up and admitting to the same fault. We’re going overseas on holidays for two weeks at the end of the month, and I think if you added up all my “research it before we go/book” time it’s about a month”s worth of hours, for a two week trip! I, too, do restaurants, films, hairdressers, hotels etc. I think my biggest thing is not wanting to be unpleasantly surprised when I get there. Though sometimes I think maybe I miss out on being pleasantly surprised!

  4. Katerina

    I definitely agree with what Kate said “safety in numbers” and we need to share!