How many times have you said that this past month? How many times have you said that this past week? How about today?
Is Google making us lazy?
There could’ve been a day when a question of “So what happened to the Boelyn girls?” would be responded with “This is what I know from watching the movies….” And the story of the girls would be told regally and freely. Now, especially with the increasing invasion of smart phones, all they have to do is do a few clicks and just shove it at the inquisitor’s face and say “Go mad! Hundreds of thousands of information on the girls, movie wise, Wikipedia version, historical and numerous fan-fictions for your perusal.” That. Is. Sad.
Storytelling is a skill that human posses to pass down culture, survival skills and most importantly, moral lessons. Though possessed by every single human being, the skill itself is not natural for most. It takes a lot of attempts in passing forward stories and knowledge to master it well. The standard is simple, really. Just see how much your listener is retaining whatever wisdom you’re trying to pass on. And that’s how human evolve.
These days though, we seem to have outsourced this specific type of activity, amongst many other, more and more to the virtual world. We let the facts speak for themselves. We let the notion that ‘if it is on the net it must be true’ take over our previously vigilant effort to check and recheck a source. We share stories by watching and reading together.
Apart from the storytelling skill that had somewhat do a backward progression, our ability to retain information must’ve decreased as well. With all the news, excitement, latest cute babies laughing, what’s the latest ideas in town bombarding us every second, there could only be fractions of each that we carry with us at all times. How do we ensure that we only keep the gems and not the plain rocks that came along for the ride?
I say by storytelling.
Whenever you found a piece of sharing-worthy tidbits on the net, instead of pushing the share button or forwarding the website address to a friend (which on its own is an extra effort worth applauding), try plucking the fishbone out of the story. Crystallize them in your mind. Note the facts. And the next time you are talking to another human being, or even in a chat room, or even re-writing them in another form, take a deep breath and start spitting out your story.
And keep the old-age ritual alive.