Just Tell Me How Old You Are

Iris Reinbacher
2 min readApr 10, 2023

The hunt for up-to-date information

Cake with lit candles spelling out “Happy Birthday”.
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

The internet knows everything.

  • A recipe for kimchi that doesn’t give me the runs? CHECK.
  • A beginner’s guide to solar flares? CHECK.
  • A top-10 list of films with Keanu Reeves at his hottest? CHECK.

No matter what I may be interested in, somebody else was too and put it online. Most often for free, even. Yay for the internet and its community!

However, not all information is created equal. While recipes are for the ages (nutritional preferences not withstanding), and the physics of solar flares won’t be changing in the foreseeable future (just like Keanu’s relationship status, sadly), other information has a significantly shorter shelf-life.

  • How do I put a captcha on my contact form?
  • How much can I charge for editing in German?
  • How do I turn on “do not track” on my smartphone?

Of course, there’s plenty of information out there to solve these problems as well, but more often than not, these articles don’t indicate when they were written. And as unbelievable as it sounds, pre-pandemic rates for any kind of work are just as irrelevant today as insider help for an iPhone 6. That means that to find up-to-date information, I’m often forced down a rabbit hole of a search — read — trial and error — search again that can take hours. Super.

I get it. Ad revenue is everything today, so every single view on even outdated pages is reason enough to keep them around. You know, I like money too, especially if I don’t have to do anything for it right now.

But if you don’t tell me how old your precious article is, you’re not only wasting my time reading it, you also make me angry and absolutely unwilling to recommend your whole site to anybody else. Instead, I’m going to rant about you elsewhere.

So please, I know you don’t care about me, but just put a bloody date on your articles, will you?

This is a Monday Rant. I’m trying to clear my mind of things that annoy me — before it gets all filled up again in the work week to come.

Iris Reinbacher is a published author of non-fiction. She enjoys writing about science and all things Japan, the latter also on her personal blog goinggaijin.com. She’s also responsible for whatsupinkyoto.com, an English website dedicated to events in Japan’s most Japanese city.

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Iris Reinbacher

Scientist by training. Writer by choice. Japanophile by calling. What I’m up to: goinggaijin.com What Kyoto is up to: whatsupinkyoto.com