Let’s Get Educated

Posted by: eric on May 17, 2009 at 11:56 pm

We don’t have to be passive victims of the mass media and their celebrity culture. In today’s wired world, there are millions of sources of information about what’s really going on in the world and how it affects

us. Invest some time and energy in learning about how the world works—and begin thinking about how to change it for everybody’s benefit.

Even as Millennials revel in the power of the Internet to connect with sources of knowledge anywhere in the world, many worry about the long-term impact that being flooded with data may have on their minds. In our focus groups, some spoke about the “numbing” effect of too much information—about how seeing floods, famine, and violence in far-off lands on the evening news night after night eventually causes the sympathetic spirit to shut down, leading people to retreat into their own interests. Others talked about feeling emotionally disconnected from human beings as electronic communication supersedesface-to-face or voice-to-voice dialogue.

These are real dangers and the inevitable downside of today’s miraculously powerful communications technologies. It’s up to Generation We to find ways to master these tools and make them serve human ends. Start exercising personal choice and self-discipline when it comes to your media diet. Turn off the umpteenth celebrity gossip show, the latest goofy video on YouTube, the newest fear-mongering email from some shadowy online source. Much of this is distraction media that is intentionally sensationalized to keep people from focusing on the real issues of the day and being able to seek out solutions. Look for sources of information and ideas that enrich, ennoble, and empower you—or create your own.

Just as a daily menu filled with junk food eventually causes physical illness, a media menu made up of mental rubbish will eventually leave you brain-dead and spiritually empty. Don’t let this happen to you. Think about what you take in

One Response to “Let’s Get Educated”

  1. Derek Young Says:

    You bring up a great point. In fact one reason people can be turned off of new media is that it can feel overwhelming, or as you noted, can serve as a serious distraction.

    One thing many people have discovered, myself included, is subscription to a RSS reader like Bloglines. These free services update in an easy to read abbreviated format when blogs you subscribe to are updated. This way you won’t miss anything when someone posts something interesting to GenWe, the busier blogs are condensed so you can sort through them quickly to things you’re interested in, and you can easily control which ones you follow.

    The result, I still keep up to date on issues I care about in a fraction of the time. Stay invested in the world, but don’t do it at the expense of a balanced life.