Who Knows?

27 Dec

I’ve got a challenge for you. The next time you want to take out your phone to look something up, and it’s not urgent… don’t do it.

You can look up logistics, of course. Check your train, map your route, verify a store’s hours. But for anything else: don’t do it. Not even if you’re in the middle of a debate about when a celebrity won an award, or you can’t remember the lyrics to a favorite song, or you just really want to know the answer to a trivia question you heard.

 Don’t do it.

We’ve been trained to get answers on demand. Thanks to our friend The Internet, we no longer have to sit with that feeling of not knowing something we want to know. We’ve become so impatient for information that we feel like we have to look everything up on the spot, right away. Even if we’re at dinner with friends, or on a scenic walk, or at a show. And usually, the answer isn’t that important. It’s just that we can look it up, so we do.

 I’m trying to get cozier with the discomfort of not knowing something, even when I could know it. I’m all about curiosity and research, but fast phone checks don’t lead to much longterm satisfaction. They basically scratch an itch, in the moment–and then you probably forget most of what you look up, anyway. I’m trying to get better at letting the curiosity linger, and the not-knowing settle. If it’s important to me, I’ll remember to look it up later. And if I never look it up–that’s ok, too. We don’t actually have to know everything, now or later.

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2 Responses to “Who Knows?”

  1. Mary-Lynn Wilson January 3, 2018 at 9:43 AM #

    Thanks Felecia. I read an article about the internet making us dumber because we never have to learn or remember anything, we can always look it up. Many times at the dinner table I get up to get my iPad to look something up; I will work on this.

    Like

    • Felicia Baskin January 6, 2018 at 2:07 PM #

      I’ve been working on it too…I’ve resisted so many urges to Google these past couple weeks! I do think we’ve become somewhat lazy about learning since we expect everything at our fingertips. But it’s almost weirder to me how dependent we’ve become on knowing EVERYTHING. Definitely food for thought.

      Like

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