We live in a world of instant access to information. While there is a lengthy list of positives to the ability to Google anything, it is leading to a short-sighted assessment. Here’s how to regain or maintain your ability to think critically.
Think Before You Google
Take at least a few moments to search your memory bank for information that you once learned but can’t recall in the instant. Even if it’s just a minute or two this will activate pathways that you don’t use when you perform a web search.
Fact Or Opinion
We must take the time to contemplate our search results. First, ask yourself if what you have inquired about is fact or opinion. For example, how many ounces in a cup is a fact that does not change. However, most of the things we search for are the writer’s opinion, interpretation, or highly sensationalized version of what you have typed in. By taking the time to read more than one result or watch more than one video you will be required to think critically.
Think About What You’ve Read
Search engine algorithms are designed to feed us information that we already related to, which means we have to work harder to see both sides of a story. This means we must think critically, instead of just reacting to or taking what we read at face value. Most importantly we must relearn how to identify official sources.
If you are over 40 these are all skills you once had but may have lost, if you are under 30 you grew up in the digital age and may need to work harder to think on a broader scale.