Hacks are useful and creative time and resource-savers—when they are reliable. Similar to learning how to find a credible source of information, applying an evaluative eye to suggested hacks can help in finding legitimate, dependable hacks.
First, differentiate between advertisement media, informative media, and evaluative media. Advertisement media is similar to clickbait in that they usually display eye-catching colors and show the before and after-products instead of the process. Informative hack media is more descriptive and sometimes gives alternate methods when necessary. Evaluative media can be very useful for seeing personal experience, how the hack works, and potential shortcomings.
In this case, informative and evaluative media is most beneficial. Qualities to look for include:
- How descriptive are they? If there are details that prove the process of the hack, such as written or verbal descriptions, most likely the hack is tried and true.
- Sometimes, the presenters advertising the hack need to try the hack multiple times before it works. Reading the description, if a hack requires a specific qualification to work, it may be more conditional or complicated than it seems.
- Watch out for videos that appear to be enhanced with Photoshop; most likely, the purpose of the video is as performative clickbait rather than useful tips.
- Searching broad topics will most likely not provide the most reliable results; for example, “hair hacks” is too broad, whereas “curly hair hacks” will give more clarified results with details.
Lastly, you can always create your own hacks inspired by hacks that did and did not work, based on your own needs and situation.