In today’s world, information is literally at our fingertips. If we are out and about, and want to know something, we have a tiny computer in our pockets (or hand already most likely) with the ability to search and find most anything we want to know.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I’m old enough to remember the world before the internet was huge. I’ve written countless papers, book reports, etc. all with nothing other than encyclopedias, a thesaurus, and dictionary at my fingertips.
This was the norm, so I had no idea something better was coming, something easier. But easier isn’t always best.
The immense amount of noise in our lives, and I’m referring to digital noise, is overwhelming. As Mr. Simmons talks about in the below referenced article, we have to learn to sift through the things that are truly making us dumber.
While Everyone Is Distracted By Social Media, Successful People Double Down On An Underrated Skill
This career skill will change the way you think about reading.
Yes, I just said knowledge can make you dumber.
Think about it. How many times have you read an article, a Facebook post, whatever, and thought to yourself, “Wow, I think I just lost brain cells.” I don’t believe I can count that high.
It is true that knowledge is power, and like any other kind of power, how it’s wielded and utilized is important. Stuffing your brain full of things that are essentially meaningless all the time does nothing for your intelligence.
“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” — Mark Twain
Social media is one of the biggest offenders when it comes to misinformation, click-bait articles, and thinking you’re learning something, when all you’re really doing is confirming what you already know. What are you learning if you’re only confirming, not exploring?
Not much, if anything.
Mr. Simmons discusses “a-ha” moments in learning, which are crucial to expanding your mind. These can happen through conversation, or by the words of an author. These are the moments when your world view is changed. This is truly learning and seeking knowledge.
I’ve recently completed a mass “un-following” here and on social media. I was lost in the noise, and half the time, not seeing articles and information from people I really want to read. That’s not to say that some of the people I stopped following don’t have important and worthwhile things to say, to someone. Just not for me.
It really isn’t you, it is me.