I have had a reasonable amount of time to put into practice the methods that Rheingold details for maintaining awareness and for filtering out information. My own personal experiences should obviously be taken as nothing more than that: I am only one person and what works for me will obviously not work for everyone else, but I believe that it very much possible to do what Rheingold describes. It is something, however, that will be easier for some people than it is for others. Maintaining awareness of everything we do on the internet is not simple, and requires a certain degree of concentration, which is something that comes naturally for some but not for everyone.
While doing research for my English projects, I consistently made certain to check necessary information regarding the sources I was using. How reputable is the site? How reputable is the author? What kind of language is being used here and what does it indicate regarding the intended audience? Who owns the site? What kind of advertisements, if any, are located on the site? By asking questions such as these and seeking out the answers, not only did I ensure that the sources I was using were suitable for my work, but I also retained a greater deal of information from the individual sources. I retained this information more easily because I made a conscious effort to seek out what was important. In addition to this, one of the sources that I found to be non-reputable was one that I decided to use in my project. It’s non-reputability made it useful for an argument I was trying to make, and I would not have been able to use this source unless I had proven it’s biases and the overall lack of scientific knowledge contained within.
Personally, I believe that anyone seeking out information on the internet should at least make a minor effort to ensure that the sources they are receiving their information from are reputable and unbiased. Without doing this, one could very easily develop an understanding that is objectively false. When one does find something that is biased and un-factual, why shouldn’t they let others know? They would only be doing a public service, and in the process would also be putting reputable information of their own out onto the internet. Again, practicing good crap detection is not simple for everyone, but even the smallest amount of effort can still lead to greater insight.