Skimming the Surface

When I go to the library I inevitably check out more books than I will ever read in the time I am allowed to have them. I end up returning my bound guests reluctantly, promising myself that the next time I'm at the library I will try again at liberating them from their shelves, but instead of following through on my promise, I betray the books and find some other topic that catches my interest. I would say that part of this "constantly skimming" problem is my unsystematic approach to consuming information, but I think I get to blame some of the problem on our information soggy environment.

With the easy access to information we have now someone can be continually window shopping without ever investing in learning something substantial. I think that this makes it critical that we choose what we consume carefully and according to a plan that takes us where we want to go. Otherwise we will constantly be flitting from source to  source, never inhaling deeply enough to be fill ourselves with deep understanding.

I'm not arguing that we completely eliminate spontaneity (Don't the 'a' and 'e' in "spontaneity" seem placed backwards? It is almost as if the word is warning you not to be too spontaneous). It's just that in our current environment the default modus operandi can end up being spontaneity 24 hours every day. If we don't consciously choose what we are going to pay attention to, there are plenty of people who will kindly step in, crowding our senses, and tell us what to do, watch, and immitate. 

After writing this I remembered that Dallin H. Oaks addressed this in his talk titled Focus and Priorities. think I'll go back and read it in depth this time.


One response to “Skimming the Surface

  1. I can certainly identify with getting sidetracked by the mass of information out there, and there is definitely a risk of only skimming the surface. If I really need to focus on something I will, but sometimes it’s fun just to see where the moment takes you. I’ve actually learned a lot about some things that I never would have even thought about looking for, and I feel richer for it.

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