Friday, June 5, 2015

Resolution

It kind of makes you wonder how we all got along before the advent of the internet, how we could possibly have known anything about anything without being able to google for it. The internet has given us access to all the information we could possibly want to fill our knowledge starving little minds with, and a lot that we neither knew we wanted or would be much better off without.

I heard somewhere recently, and I can’t for the life of me remember where now, that access to the internet has made us a little knowledgeable on a lot of subjects but experts at none, that it’s sort of dumbed us down as a result. I suppose it depends on how we look at it but one of the things it’s done to a lot of people is to make them think they’re experts on things they’re even a little stupid about, and they’re not afraid to share their “expertise”.

I’m talking about that thing that happens when you say something and the person you’re talking to immediately offers “helpful” advice or corrects you. We used to call people like that “know-it-alls”.

Back in the day, know-it-alls existed in limited numbers, they were well recognized and they were tolerated but not respected. In recent times that “know-it-allism” has spread like a wildfire and its possessed people who where previously largely immune to catching it, and all this since the internet entered our lives and made us addicted to it.

I love knowledge. I’m completely and utterly hooked on letting my fingers dance across the keyboard so I can get a fix of what I crave so much. I can spend hours looking for something, or I start with one subject and I end up following a thread through several subjects ending up somewhere completely different. It’s like a game of knowledge hunting and I just can’t get enough of it.

I’ve even taken to, after resisting the urge for so long, spending time doing it on my iPhone after I gave in and got myself a plan that has more than reasonable amounts of data available at my disposal.

I mine the internet for knowledge and I hoard that stuff like my life depends on it. You never know when you’re going to need to know how to survive a catastrophe, cure yourself of all sorts of diseases after you’ve successfully self-diagnosed or reach enlightenment at the touch of a keystroke.

I too have grown completely unafraid of sharing all that good knowledge I now possess and I’m not even a little embarrassed about it. I just know that much and I just need to share it without anyone who opens their mouth in front of me because that’s like an invitation for me to share. I don’t even bother saying “I read an article about that…” most of the time (unless I don’t agree with it and want to distance myself a little from it because I would look foolish otherwise). I just proudly regurgitate and it’s not even a conscious process most of the time anymore.

But, I’m making it my business to become conscious about it. I’ve made a resolution to quit that behavior because frankly it’s not needed from me because there’s a surplus of know-it-alls out there now, and if there happens to be a lack of them at any given moment Google is ready to help you out. You’ll feel more empowered looking for the information yourself then you would if I was to spew it out at you.

I refuse to be part of it anymore. I’m going to trust my fellow human being with having enough intelligence and with being able enough to find their own knowledge, and to make up their own mind about what’s important and useful to them.

So, unless you specifically ask me for my advice and for what I think of it I’m keeping quiet, and you’ll be more likely to see me quietly concentrating on keeping my trap shut from now on. It’s not going to come easy but I have a feeling that it will be better for all involved. I'm going to start listening to people instead of offering them my advice or correcting them because let's face it folks, the reason most of us talk is that we just want to connect and be heard.

I’m just saying.