Out of all of the characters in Star Trek I think Reginald Barclay is one of my favorites. He’s the person who had a holodeck addiction that I talked about in one of my first posts. He’s this socially awkward, nerdy guy who always thinks the worst. For example, whenever he thinks there is something physically wrong with him, he goes directly to the medical databases to find out what could be causing his symptoms.
Star Trek: The Next Generation was created in the late 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s. This was a time when the internet was just making its appearance and users were not using the internet for informational purposes, but the series shows the hazards of self diagnosing oneself. The medical databases that we, in the real world had were used by med students and doctors in order to find information about diseases and conditions. Now, with the advent and widespread usage of the internet there is a lot of medical information floating around, both factual, and non-factual. Many people now-a-days tend to go directly to the internet in order to find out what is wrong with them instead of going to their doctors first. I know I certainly have done this a few times.
One of my doctors stated that the internet could quite possibly be the best thing that has happened to us and the worst thing that has happened to us, considering the fact that people are so quick to trust the information that is available instead of the trained medical professionals who have spent years in school preparing for their careers.
So, the moral of the story: Don’t be like Barclay and just automatically assume the worse and go to your doctor telling them what condition you have. Always trust the professionals. They are professionals for a reason.