I am part of the first class of Master’s Degree from Hyper Island in Manchester and one of the things we learned here in the first week is how to reflect. Or rather, this is one of the things we’re trying to learn from the first week. So far it has been somewhat difficult.
Very early we are conditioned to learn, learn fast and as much as we can. And in the era of information, the data-sexuals decade, this becomes even more intense. We turn ourselves into heavy consumers of information, trying to learn more and more things, in our eternal hunger for knowing about everything. We have been having access to more content, more tools to organize them, more ways to cross and understand them. In real time, if you want.
Individually, over the last few years I’ve been trying to organize the data sources in my lifelong. I’m in Delicio.us creating stacks, I use Pocket all the time, I have at least 12 folders of bookmarks in my Chrome, I was addicted to Google Reader until the anxiety about unread links drives me crazy and now I’m using Feedly as often as possible. All these tools to try not lose one piece of information, to not miss any important data or item that needs to be read.
But since my class at Hyper started I have asked a question: How often I’m really thinking about what I’m reading? Have I managed to put meaning in all this huge amount of information?
All the time, we are trying to digest the daily news, the trends of the year, the macro-trends for the next five years, the apps of the week, the functionalities of new tools. But I feel that we have reflect very little about the impact of that in our lives, in the lives of people that we are trying to understand during the our projects, in different societies. The anxiety for the consumption of information does not give us time to think deeply about anything.
We’ve learned more about a process of reflecting and learning with experiences. The reflection moments allows us to put meaning in which we live, it gives the brain time to make connections that we don’t do in our busy day-by-day lives, anxious to read more or start another project.
I feel that we have became mere consumers of words and meaningless concepts. Shifts may be undergoing beaten in our eyes because we have too much to see.
I’ve started to give myself more time to reflect on the content that I have consuming and have asked more often about the real meaning of them.
In my busy days, being occupied for at least 9 hours of Hyper Island, everything I have achieved is only with a few minutes to do it, beyond our days especially reserved for the practice of reflections. But surely we still need to understand the importance of that time, that is not wasted but invested in the search for deeper insights, work processes more efficient, meaningful lives.