The internet isn't always a toxic place full of unkindness that draws its strength from the cloak of anonymity. Sometimes it's a crowd-sourced trove of helpful information about highly specialized subjects.
Sure, research happens on the internet. But other information abounds, too. More general, anecdotal life advice crops up every now and then.
And some people really take that guidance to heart. They apply anonymous strangers' guiding words and experiences to their real life issues. Of course, sometimes the guidance turns out to be ill-advised.
But many are filled with gratitude after acting on internet guidance. One Reddit thread collected the satisfied anecdotes of life-changing internet advice.
omgitsthefranchise asked, "People who made a huge life decision based on Reddit advice, how did it go?"
A Helpful Push to Seek Help
"I sought therapy for my ED (eating disorder) years ago on advice from r/loseit and I'm feeling pretty great!"
"Wayyy healthier mentally and I eat normally now."
"Thanks Reddit for telling me it wasn't normal to cry about whether or not to drink a glass of water."
Just Good Old Fashioned Practical Info
"It's not as huge as some of the others here, but I bought my car based on advice from Reddit. I don't know anything about cars, but I had a budget and I knew what I wanted out of the car."
"Some nice folks on Reddit gave me a few options and some feedback on some Craigslist posts I found, and I got a really nice used Honda Accord that I love."
Nothing to Regret, at Least
"Maybe not a HUGE life decision, but I followed advice on the dating subreddit and took the first step to asking a girl out. Turns out I can't read signals and she was not interested at all."
"At least I did something though?"
"Saw some advice along the lines of 'If you're trying to meet new people say yes to things you might not usually say yes to.' I had just moved to a new city for school and a guy asked me to form a study group with him, so I said yes."
"Then he asked me out to lunch, I didn't know him that well and normally would have said no but you know where this is going, I said yes to that too."
"We ended up hanging out more and became good friends over the rest of year. Now we live together and have been dating for 5 years, all because I agreed to go eat a sandwich with him. Cant imagine my life without him."
"We still go eat at that sandwich shop sometimes and reminisce."
From Beer and Pizza to Full Time
"I started writing erotica five years ago for beer and pizza money after seeing someone talking about it on an AskReddit thread. I've been writing full time, though no more erotica, since early 2015."
"That thread gave me the kick I needed to start doing writing that made money and helped me transition to doing it full time."
For Those Newbie Blind Spots
"In moving to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, one Redditor told to me watch out for the 'Pittsburgh Left'-- this is basically when a person makes a really fast left turn against oncoming traffic."
"Truly solid advice. I'm still alive today after 3 years here. That said, I truly loathe this place -- especially its drivers."
The Beginning of a New Life
"5 years ago I had the courage to click on a link explaining the truth about Jehovah Witnesses. I was able to realize I was raised in a cult, left, and started my life."
"Publicly quit the religion, was announced excommunicated, lost all my friends, most of my family (4 of us left at same time tho!) But it was the best decision of my life and completely changed everything. From my city, job, sexuality, politics, and view of the world."
"So yeah, I always joke that Reddit kinda saved my life."
Entertaining New Ideas
" I started a job dogsitting on the side through a dogsitting website after I saw people on Reddit talking about how great it is and posting videos of the dogs they had taken care of."
"I love dogs and was looking for extra money (and I had some experience), so I signed up and ended up making thousands of dollars over the few years I was active on the site! But the best part was spending time with tons of adorable dogs, meeting new people, and making great memories."
"I wouldn't have known about it if I didn't stumble across the opportunity on Reddit, so it was a surprising and 100% positive experience."
"I was planning on buying an engagement ring with a precious gemstone. I had picked out the stone and setting from a big name internet website. I turned to reddit and asked for advice and opinions in a couple jewelery and engagement ring subs."
"I was contacted by numerous redditors. I was informed that the gem was garbage, the color was not uniform, the cuts on the stone were horrid and it was all overpriced. I actually was referred to a online gem site. I picked out a really quality sky blue sapphire."
"A fellow redditor was able to custom fabricate the exact ring my now fiance wanted. This was the most expensive thing I've ever bought (outside of a car) and I was so thankful for the advice of this community."
Accepting the Truth
"I left my dead bedroom marriage after reading posts on that sub."
"The best advice I saw was 'There's always going to be an excuse not to leave. First it's because you live together. Then it's because you're married. Then it's because you have kids. You just become more and more intertwined until you feel like you literally can't leave. There's never a right time, but that doesn't mean it's not the right choice.'"
"It was exactly what I needed to read to leave my marriage. Best decision I've ever made."
Strangers' Words of Affirmation
"Maybe not a huge decision but the the support I've received from Reddit for my art has been astounding and life changing for me. I'm still working on getting prints made to sell( virus has made things a bit difficult) but the fact that people want to buy my work is mind blowing."
"I've never been good at anything in my life and without Reddit, I would still think I'm not really good at anything."
The Push to Share
"It went really well! Someone recommended opening up to people and so far I'm really happy that I've chosen to do so!"
"While this definitely doesn't apply to everyone, people seem to be happier to help each other than others might think. It's helped me take a much less cynical view of the world and has helped me feel more like we're in this together"
Some Judgement, More Concrete Advice
"I quit a toxic job during this bad economy and totally panicked and looked to reddit. Some told me that was stupid because we were hitting a recession and some were very supportive. But most gave me great tips for looking for a new job and I took their advice."
"2 weeks later I was offered 2 jobs and a week later I picked one. And I'm happy."
Someone Who Had the Details
"I did AmeriCorps because of a comment. I messaged the user and they were the tipping point in my decision to volunteer for a position that was a 19 hour away drive. It worked out great because one of my sites liked me enough to hire me full time."
"Now, it's mostly online but it's still going great."
The Discovery of Tone
"Not really advice but more the interactions."
"I use to be quite judgement online and quick to insult. Simple interactions with some decent people made me realise that I was acting poorly. I would like to think I'm more polite now."
"Applying this in my real life as well, it's hard breaking habits but it's getting a lot better and it's made my life easier, less conflicts and more results."
Communication Growing Pains
"I've been married for 20 years and together with my husband for 25. With info from relationship advice and the Ask Men section, I've learned over the long whiles a better way to communicate with my husband."
"Nothing big, it is just that I've learned to read his cues better and how to change how I react to things that used to enrage me. I am now very clear on why things upset me instead of assuming he already knows, for example."
A Life-Saving List
"The time reddit got me out of depression, some person gave my 10 things to do and I did them and I have to admit I might now be here unscathed without them."
"If that person sees this thank you, really helped me out and now I get to be the one helping others out of their problems in life."
Help to See What was Always There
"Uhh I found out I'm transgender, it answered a few questions and raised so many more" -- dictatortahtz
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.