Intellectual Dishonesty: What It Means To Know
The information age has changed our relationship with learning and experiencing new knowledge. All this information, all the time. Everyone is a content producer regardless of credentials. We easily trust the information being provided as accurate and true - especially if it is coming from within our own echo chamber.
However, even with unlimited access to all this information, the amount of time we typically spend reading an article (especially online material) is measured in seconds - like, on average, less than 15 seconds. This is why headlines are dangerously manipulative. Content makers need to give you the kernel using as few characters as possible. Most can’t even sit through an entire video without being distracted by a notification on their phone. And with studies showing the overwhelming majority get their news via social media, this is having a subliminal but disastrous effect to our relationship with information and learning.
It is intellectually dishonest to think you have learned something or know anything about that something having only spent 15 seconds with it. Yet many of us semi-digest the headline of an article and start heralding what we’ve “learned” from it. Headlines are devoid of context, perspective, and are inherently deceptive. I once had an editor of a newspaper deny to me that they use headlines to grab peoples attention and sell more papers after I asserted that they did so. I suggest they enter into a new profession because their doing it wrong.
Perhaps the value we place on information has changed as well. The supply of information has never been more saturated - therefore diminishing the demand.
This idea of you can’t know something or someone if you haven’t spent time with it/them is of exceptional importance to me when I think about my relationship with God. As a Christian we are called to love God. I believe that in order to even come close to being able to love God it is imperative that we first grow to know Him. A lot of people claim or have convinced themselves that they know God, or know God’s will and yet spend very little time with Him.
I realize more and more everyday that how we spend our time is incredibly important. I want to know more of God and so therefore I must be deliberate in spending more time with Him. Let’s not cheapen the time spent getting to know the God of the universe to 15 second snip bits.