I’ll never forget one of the first times I felt stupid for saying something smart. I was with someone I used to know (yes, just like the song) and we were reading together. With Valentine’s Day upon us let’s go ahead and add a little romance to the story; let’s say we were playing footsie over lattes (avec heart-shaped foam swirls) in the Village as we both read through a Sunday afternoon.
Anyway, there we were and I looked up at this person and mentioned something I loved about the article I had just finished reading. I felt smart that I had found something so interesting on my own. I was eager to recite each line that I considered to be insightful. I sat there proudly waiting for my gold star and possible high five when I realized he was not impressed. (Pout)
He merely asked what I thought. “Well, I mean, I agree. I think he’s right”, I said, confused.
And then, the someone I used to know said something so interesting it’s stayed with me ever since… “Anyone can read an article and anyone can recite the insightful things that someone else writes but few people process the information and take what they read 1 step further. Few people think. So, why do you agree?”
… Hmmm, why did I agree?
We’ve always known reading is important. Now more than ever, if we want to stay connected you have to keep reading. Even the social train will leave you if you don’t have new content to hand out. The problem with so much content is that it now takes time to really understand where the reciting ends and the personal opinions begin. So much content has made some of us lazy.
We need to continue to form our own opinions. We need to make sure we are all exercising our unique ability to process information. I mean, if not, we’re just all retweeting.
That afternoon ended up being a pleasant one. Believe it or not, though me and my ex acquaintance both agreed with the points in the article, we varied on why. It’s important to go deeper because the arguments may not match at all and that’s when the conversation goes off course. That’s when things get interesting.