Bill Sledzik reminds us of how social media can be used to ridicule rather than support those who may know less than we do. I often wonder why people would be rude to others using a public medium and whether this is better than talking about someone behind their back.
In general, I believe in a “doasyouwouldbedoneby” approach, taking Thumper rabbit’s advice (if you can’t say something nice…), but I do find myself thinking or saying things about other people, including if I think they don’t know something that I think is obvious.
There is a tendency for (some of) the young (and uninformed) to be arrogant, but hasn’t it ever been so? My little niece aged two-and-a-half is at the stage of thinking she can do everything herself. Would anyone ridicule her efforts to learn new things – even if she decides to “teach her grandmother to suck eggs“?
Many blogs and other online tools share knowledge, a lot of which isn’t necessarily of the highest standard, and may seem blindingly obvious.
But that is how we learn. I don’t really care how old someone is if they want to share their view of the world – even if I disagree, I can learn something, even if it is just that they are uninformed (in my humble opinion).
Last week, when reviewing campaigns in PR Week, I learned that the concept of the Football Pools is unfamiliar to many young people (taking my seminar groups as a sample). This is good as it reminds me that something I take for granted maybe new to someone else. I also learn from the undergrads as their life experiences are different from mine. Likewise when yesterday I was running a brand/PR training session for members of Lions clubs who predominantly older than me, I benefit from understanding another perspective on things.
No-one knows everything – despite what some “gurus” might like us to believe. And, anything we know has been derived from somewhere else – very few of us are either original thinkers or inventors. Those who are new to online often understand better than the old hands what might be relevant advice for others who are newbies.
As the Queen tells Alice in Through the Looking Glass: “sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast”. Like her, I believe that practice is all that is needed to keep on learning.