We humans have innovated our way into a world where the power is in the brain, not so much in the body. Thus, our knowledge intake is much more rapid than those of past generations. We no longer need to put thought into basic survival. So what are we filling our heads with instead? Are we using our inventions to their greatest capacities to steer us towards becoming more intelligent, benevolent forces in the world? Or are we wasting time and brain power with meaningless amusements?
Let’s admit it: we all fill our heads with empty material on a daily basis. How could we not? We have so much time to devote to the online commotion that calls for our attention. It’s difficult to even realize what we should be focusing on. Regardless, our pursuit of this material has given birth to the digital innovations of Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram. Yes, we use these cites to aimlessly scroll from funny videos to pictures of fancy brownies, then to muscular bodies on fitness profiles that make you feel bad about wanting those brownies. But they also connect people with each other, important news stories, and a means of self-expression and discovery. With what seems like valueless entertainment, we are using the same networking services to exchange information, develop ourselves intellectually at an incredibly fast pace, and thus harbor power to understand each other and the world more readily than ever before.
The results of our creations depend on what we do with the power we have. I see it not as an ‘either-or’, but a ‘both.’ Because of the immediacy of the internet, we use time to innovate while we simultaneously and delightfully waste that time. We may not be those benevolent forces of superhero status, but we together create an idea-sharing community that propels our creations towards further development. The internet is a perfect example of how human beings are inspired, create, transform and repeat. Whether we are furthering our intellectual growth or filling our brains with meaningless entertainment (or both), we are feeding our minds the instant gratification that leaves us hungry for more. And I’m not talking about the fancy brownies here. What other great innovations will we create with that hunger?