I sure love it when a “new study” hits the internet, particularly if it relates to some super-heated parenting topic. It’s just so fun. All of a sudden, all the people have new “evidence” to sling at the “other side.”
All the humans now have “irrefutable proof” that they were, after all, right as fuck and you were, absolutely 100% (as they always suspected!) WRONG. So they shall post it on Facebook with a barely perceptible shrug and smile, just so damn happy to have this “new science” validating their opinions.
No worries if it refutes 20 years of prior research. No worries if it’s profoundly biased and/or funded by a company with a vested interest in the outcome. No worries if it’s flawed in its research methodology or put together by high schoolers on mushrooms.
In fact, there’s no need to read any of the actual study! All you gotta do is read the article in the Huffington Post written by some asshat with as much relevant expertise as my toddler, summarizing the study and paraphrasing the “science” they don’t actually understand (or trying to, while remaining SEO effective, of course).
Forget they’re writing for a damn media source with a financial interest in sensationalism and the “latest trends,” (so they can trap new parents on Babycenter who are simply fascinated by this “new research”). And forget the emphasis on keywords and polarizing, extremist titles that will increase Google hits and traffic, translating into PURE CASH for the website. I mean, there’s nothing like a bunch of well-meaning parents to feed “latest studies” to by the spoonful.
Nothing sells like: “New Study Shows Breastfeeding is Over-rated” or “Research proves that homebirth kills” or “Study concludes pacifiers stunt emotional development.”
Here’s what they’re actually selling us: You want to be “in the know?” You want to remain on the cutting edge of informed parenting? All you gotta do is read our 3rd-party interpretation of a “study” you’ve never glanced at, avoid critical thinking at all costs and use what you read as “irrefutable evidence” to post all over Facebook, Pin, Tweet and email. This weekend, regurgitate at playdates. And then, bask in the glory of your rightness. All you need is a link, homie!
I mean how could you argue it? It’s science! It’s data! It’s REAL.
Obviously. There’s acronyms and shit.
Look, internet, unless you’re going to read the actual study, examine who funded the bastard, research the methodology (and have the ability to assess it in the first place), study what other experts in the field have to say about its outcomes, assess where this study fits into the larger picture (what else has been said over the years?)…I don’t give a flying rat’s ass about your “new study.”
Basically, one study means jack shit, even if it does validate your side of every flame war you’ve engaged in during the last 5 years.
One study is ONE MOTHERFUCKING STUDY.
You gotta look at overall flows, dude. You gotta look for patterns, for trends, for recurring information. I’m not a scientist. I get confused by words like “force” or “planet.”
My geology professor hired me in his paleomagnetic research lab because I got the highest grade in his survey course. I worked for him for a year or so while he tried desperately to explain to me 3-dimensional magnetic properties of rock (or some shit) – ultimately mumbling one day “Um I’m not sure science is your thing.”
Yeah, it’s not.
Neither is math. BUT I DIGRESS.
The point is that even a moron like me knows that science doesn’t work in giant, sensational sweeping movements, particularly if it involves lots and lots of humans. It’s not ALL GOING TO CHANGE because A study was published.
In other words, we’re getting played, people. They play on our desire to do right by our kids. They play on our devotion and love and profound fear of fucking up our offspring.
But you know what? These “new studies” may mean something significant within the field, but they are almost wholly irrelevant when it comes to my immediate, on-the-ground parenting decisions. They are contributing information to the discipline. They are lending new insights. They are donating to a body of research from which scholars can, over time, pull accumulated information that may actually inform my parenting.
But until then, it’s just “Oh good, another study I can completely ignore.”
And watch the shit-slinging begin.
Calm down, internet, it’s just one study.
SETTLE DOWN ASSHOLE.
Things are the same as yesterday.