The Internet is overflowing with material about anything you can think up. There really isn't an excuse to stay in the dark about something, as the answers can often be found in 0.6 seconds. The information superhighway taught me to make balloon animals. To bake Pumpkin Breakfast Casserole and Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies and copious other attempted recipes. To plunk basic notes on a piano so I could practice choir songs. To learn some salsa steps. If I don't know what a word means, or where in the world something is located, or the words to songs of all kinds, I turn to Google.
The internet is my dictionary, cookbook, phonebook, thesaurus, medical book, date book. The list goes on. I told myself my daughter doesn't need to see me glued to the screen constantly. So I have been pulling out my collection of cook books and flipping through the pages. It's been great. I just need to figure out a better way to mark my favorites because I can't just enter a keyword and hit "search". My bookshelf doesn't accommodate that command.
I can't imagine living without this unlimited access of knowledge whenever I want it, even though I didn't grow up with this convenience (how did we do it?). Information overload. But is it reliable search results that I get? I have always been set on facts instead of speculation. I dropped a course in grade 10 because it was too abstract. I wanted concrete answers. So when I ask online I tend to get a little impatient with the filtering required to find something from a reputable source. Not open Q&A. Not blogs.
Yes, not blogs. In the past I was never really fond of blogs. Random people writing about their inclinations. Lay people spreading their wisdom. With no one marking their work. No accountability. How could this be allowed? And what kind of egotistical venture would that be to think someone would care enough to read it?
As someone who always loved writing I have no idea why I wanted to remain scientific and disregard all those who poured out their heart, invested time to be creative, and took the risk. I also don't know why I figured that someone paid to write a book in print or to teach a course was automatically more reliable. I have learned very well that professionals can have skewed beliefs mixed in with their knowledge. Why else would two doctors have completely opposite advice? Or two teachers have a different route to learning? In reality, creativity, opinion, and feelings flow through the blood vessels of every scholar, no matter how hard the institution tries hard to squeeze it out.
Most likely my closed mindedness came from a great fear of failure. I didn't want to follow the incorrect counsel. I didn't want to be judged for believing the wrong recommendation. I had that hanging over me for a long time. No band posters on my wall. I tried to keep my preferences to myself (and really, as a result, never developed them).
When pushing out opinion, my mind was left with too much to think. As a result, I was always observing (in my self conscious way) and had no problems with judgements. I was afraid of missing popularity, but never struggled with proclaiming what I thought was right or wrong. Black and white, where I thought it was easy to draw lines and declare what should be. It is harder when the lines can be bent and stretched. Where are you supposed to be? I wanted to have the rules given to me and I wanted them enforced. None of this changing for the situation or for the camaraderie. This closed me off from relationships.
I discovered blogs when I started cooking and parenting. At first I would skip all the extra words and skim to the recipe. Okay, sometimes I still do when in a hurry. But with all the opinions (oh did that make newborn choices difficult) I have learned these personal pages have more experience. There may not be statistics, but there is real life trial and error. Wouldn't I rather learn from the mistakes of another than go through inconvenience or discomfort or failure first hand?
As time went on I had blogs I would regularly read on how to help my daughter learn and grow and enjoy. I loved the helpful information mixed in with funny stories, embarrassing moments, and revelations. I realized that I didn't need to filter with credentials. I needed to filter with common sense. And reading something I don't agree with isn't necessarily a waste of time. Another opening for some cogitation. And this being opened to thinking makes me more open to my creativity (the opposite it true as well. Stifle creativity and cognitive thinking is hindered).
So I will write. Maybe no one will read. Maybe those who do won't like. But I'll be doing what I enjoy, just like millions of others have the opportunity to do right at their fingertips. Now, maybe I should go to the museums so I'll get some inspiration to paint or draw.