Thanks to the technological trappings in which our culture has dressed itself, we’ve officially stopped thinking.
Because we’re too occupied with responding.
With so many thousands of messages and signals and pings and notifications demanding our attention, it’s a wonder anything gets done at all.
The sad part is, quality hasn’t risen commensurate with volume. Eighty percent of the information we respond to is completely unnecessary. And that’s being generous. Consider the number of emails you delete on a given day.
However, we’re not completely zombified just yet. There’s still hope for the human brain. We just have to go out of our way to trap ourselves into doing our own thinking.
I recently spent two full days sequestered in a windowless courtroom, waiting around to be selected for jury duty. And it could have been an sterile, meaningless experience. But instead, I treated it as an opportunity to form some thoughts. About topics I wouldn’t have normally considered. In an environment that I didn’t typically frequent.
And it was fascinating. In fact, it was quite liberating. Because without mobile service or television screens or wifi access, there was nothing to respond to. And all I could do was think. Who knew such a simple act would become a designer crusade?
That’s the culture we’ve crafted for ourselves. Toffler was right when he predicted that the future was rapidly articulating itself, much faster than our constitutions could handle.
Perhaps it’s our job to make sure we’re doing more than just responding to stimuli.
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What’s your favorite strategy for trapping yourself into doing your own thinking?
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That Guy with the Nametag
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