Keyboard Wars - Torrens 412

By: Glenn Torrens

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Glenn Torrens wonders if the internet is making us all dumber

Like a lot of you, I can hardly remember the pre-internet world. The online free flow of information and easy access to others’ knowledge can be terrific and finding and buying stuff is easier now than ever.

But there are drawbacks. That easy access also means dealing with the not-so-clever...

For example, on one Holden-themed Facebook page someone asked about a VT Commodore SS fitted with a 3.8-litre Supercharged V6 engine: Was it really an SS…?

Yes, actually, it is – Holden did offer a Supercharged V6 VT SS. Not many people realise this model exists because not many were sold.

Anyhow, a rocket scientist called James, joined in with: "SS is a V8, if it’s a V6 it’s just a Commodore S and later SV6." James’ statement was, of course, wrong and a few wiser people pointed this out. As an aside, a couple of enthusiasts mentioned the super-rare early-90s V6-powered VP Commodore SS, too, of which only a tiny number – as little as six – were made.

Holden -commodore

So, did James say something like: ‘Hey thanks fellas, I learned something today,’?

Did James admit that he was (oh-my-god!) wrong? No. Instead, James – who judging by his photo, was probably wearing a nappy when the VT was new – went on a tirade of abuse claiming what he wrote was his ‘opinion’:

"I can put my opinion forward as much as I like it’s just a badge on a car so the facts on this matter don’t really matter," he wrote. "Try to debate me on something important and you will get buried with a tonne of facts and statistics…"

Uh huh. James posted several more increasingly toxic remarks but that first one reveals his mind-set and I guess, brain-power: Even though Holden did build a V6 SS, and even though what James wrote was incorrect, he was entitled to write it – and have other people not question, nor attempt to correct what he’d written – because it was his ‘opinion’.

Can you imagine working with a bloke such as James?

Some of the most excruciating useless terms you’ll read on-line are: ‘We Love Ours’ and ‘Never Had A Problem’. When people ask for information about a product they’re interested in buying – and people often do about anything from a 4WD winch, to tyres, swags, or gaskets for an engine – you can bet that ‘We Love Ours’ or ‘Never Had A Problem’ or ‘Highly Recommended’ will appear in the first halfdozen responses.

Sometimes the enquirer – or another interested reader – will probe further, asking: "Hey thanks, where have you used your [product] so far?" You’ll be surprised how often the answer will be like: "We haven’t used it yet, bought it yesterday, but we love it!"

Example? "Very impressed with ‘Brand X’ wiring," someone wrote on a VW page, regarding a replacement wiring harness for a VW Beetle. "Placed my order on March 18 for the VW Bug deluxe kit. Received it March 22. It is of very high quality and came with detailed instructions… Highly recommended!"

A picture showed a still-in-the-packet wiring harness, complete with a wrong-shape fuse box that would have required plenty of work to fit it into a VW. Yet this bloke was gushing about quality and was happy to ‘highly recommend’ it to all his Facebook buddies, despite the fact it wasn’t on the car yet, clearly wouldn’t fit the car and – of course – hadn’t yet been used!

And how about: "But It’s Good Value, or "I Got A Good Price" written by every clown who has bought the cheapest, crappiest product… but needs to somehow convince others he’s made a wise decision.

This behaviour is studied in education/training and sales/marketing courses and it’s frustratingly fascinating. I’m never sure who are the bigger idiots – the people offering useless advice or those who take it without question!

What do you reckon? Is the internet making people dumb? Or are we simply seeing more dumb people because of the internet? Let us know the worst advice you've read on the internet at uniquecars@bauertrader.com.au 

 

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