30 June 2015

Millennial communications...

As a follow up to last week's post on listening and connection, I want to add two thoughts:

First, "millennials" (those born 1985-2005) will have trouble communicating if they are better at posting selfies and self-discovery rather than listening to what others think. The internet has "caused" this by making it easier to broadcast and find "friends" who agree with you. In the past, people had to talk to those around them (as well as listen), which gave them a better sense of their own weaknesses and strengths.

Second (and as I wrote 10 years ago [pdf]) the internet -- by giving us access to art, music, lectures and information -- threatens our ability to produce, learn and think by making it too easy to "consume" the refined thoughts of others. It's in the struggle to understand, paint or play that we learn about topics and ourselves. The internet makes it too easy to avoid that struggle. School is supposed to force us to "learn how to learn" but many students are using wikipedia, calculators and other shortcuts to complete assignments. Those assignments may look better, have better spelling and even read better, but they may not induce as much learning as examples from 20 or 50 years earlier. (The same holds for teachers!)

Bottom Line: It takes work to listen, think and (thus) make. Internet with caution.


  1. 1) Like your site's new banner image! 2) Thanks for this post. Agree with your thinking -- which seems to be in line with today's "More is Less" counter theme. Is there another way to slow Progress other than retreating to a cave somewhere? Indeed, this is becoming crazy! I'm a news junkie, and writer, in that order. Which means "at the end of the day" I find I haven't written much! Most of the time spent reading things on the internet! The importance of which I vaguely remember. "In my gut" I feel this is why many are calling for tighter controls or regulations now of the internet, as a new communication medium -- the "dumbing down" of viewers vis a vis your declining "learning" argument. Once again, thanks for the post.

    1. @Dan -- glad you like (it's from Helsinki). I agree on distractions and temptations (I'm the same as you), so it's a matter of limiting your time on pleasures (me with blogging, recently) and forcing yourself to write. As you know, some of the greats got there by putting in 3-4 hrs/day, EVERY DAY... Tech can help, e.g., internet blocker. Also read this: http://casnocha.com/behind-the-book-lessons-publishing-business-book

  2. I agree with both observations.


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