>How can the abundance of and easy access to information mean that you don’t have enough? The proliferation of technology has delivered minute-by-minute plays from North Africa to my monitor. The tragedies of other people half a world away are deemed newsworthy and made to be everybody’s business. It also means that deeply troubling family news can be made public to others half a world away, whether you want it to or not. For you it means that you can get some answers when the online information is traveling faster than through human to human interactions. It won’t answer everything, though, and you can be left with wanting more, but unable to get it. Is there a point where it’s good that some things aren’t available online, day-by-day, minute-by-minute? Is it better to leave some things unknown? It can be extremely trying when it’s something very personal. You may want to know all of the answers, but maybe they’re not available or maybe it’s just better that you don’t.
The more you know, the more you know you don’t know. It’s a game of patience. You have to accept that although you want to know more, you simply can’t at this moment. Is this type of patience losing its place in our society? I think so. Studies show that students are accepting the answers they receive first without bothering to see if it’s actually the right one. They do not have the patience to browse, look for clues, take notes and refrain from making a judgement until they have gathered some amount of data. They want an answer and frequently accept whatever is placed within their grasp first. Then, they spit it back out in the form of cut and paste or memorization without much contemplation. Welcome to the society built from standardized tests. It’s an empty shell. Not much meaning and easily cracked.
Too much information can sometimes equal not enough. Not enough patience. Not enough depth. Not enough thought. The next time there is a question, rather than devour all the answers you find, take the time to consider each one and its meaning. Chew thoughtfully before swallowing. Take care not to choke.