The age of Twitter reflects a society which values quick, easy information. This obsession with quick, easy information has resulted from so much information that can now be put on the internet. Seeking out quick tidbits of information, however, is not conducive to really learning something in a deep way.
More than likely, most readers of this article didn’t get past the summary. Why is this? It’s because readers on the internet are looking for something. They wake up, get their 5 dollar Starbuck’s drink, pull out their laptop, and bring up the almighty Googlemonster. It is here where they start their quest to knowledge.
There are so many sites to sift through, though, that finding exactly what we are looking for is tough work. We need to make snap judgments, scan lots of information quickly, determine if it’s what we want, and decide whether to stay or go “back.”
Yes, the dreaded “back” button. The button that scares even the most daring of webmasters. It means an increase in their “bounce rate,” or how many visitors come, check things out, and decide it isn’t their style.
So article writers have adapted to this. They offer tips like “create lists,” “include bullets,” and “have a lot of subheadings.” These will allow the reader to scan in a more efficient way, allowing more people to get interested. If I see the title “16 Ways To Be Better At Sex!” I’m more than likely to click on it. And you’d best be sure that I’m only going to read the numbered sections and not the drivel in between.
This is now a common way of presenting information on the internet. Sites that do not conform to this idea tend to fall to the wayside.
The Use of Tidbits
Quick summaries and tiny bits of information do have their place. They serve as igniters of connections within our mind. They remind us of important points in the overall framework.
They are points in the framework. They are the condensed view of the idea.
If done correctly, a good summary hits all of the important points in an article without getting too lengthy.
What has Twitter taught us though? That information can be conveyed in small amounts, and this is a dangerous idea.
The Lost Connections
With only the condensed view of things, our mind has to naturally fill in the gaps where questions may arise.
Plato has a view of the soul in which there are three main parts. The Rational, the spirit, and the appetitive.
There, you have a condensed view, but without understanding the whole idea the Plato presented, what the words mean is not understood. They are either empty or you fill in their meaning, which results in a false idea.
The expanded connections are just not there. You think you understand the idea but really you don’t.
You Need To Go Deeper
Twitter is not really that bad of a thing. It hasn’t ruined your mind. My title was just a sneaky attempt to catch your attention. But it was for the greater good, I swear.
You see, small bits of information are not bad. It is only when we rely on them for meaningful thinking that we run into problems. When we see something that is interesting and important, we need to jump into that idea, take a swim and see where the bottom is.
It is in this way that when we do see the summary, it lights up the correct connections in our mind. We are not left making things up to fill in gaps that we do not know.
It is in this way that the words themselves will have more meaning. When you read them they will react within you deeply, tugging at your whole character.
So go ahead and read the summary again. This time, it will make more sense. You will know exactly what I mean.