Knowledge vs. Experience

Knowledge vs. Experience (with knowledge gained)

Don’t get me wrong – the “internet” has brought us countless “positive” aspects to our lives. Especially when it comes to things that one would normally have to hit the library for. Reference and history might very well be the best. And it’s most certainly expanded our “entertainment” options beyond our wildest dreams. Take the good with the bad, is the saying.

And sure, the bad can be debated by some too. Lack of attention span (so?), in-depth conversation (next!), and creativity (hello Instagram one-finger filter effects). Or herd-mentality on steroids. Or social media addiction (Fear of Missing Out “FOMO,” or In case you missed it “ICYMI”). I could go on.

But one thing recently struck me as kind of important (and this probably has been discussed countless times before), but it’s the difference between “knowledge” (Googling an answer) versus “experience” (and the knowledge gained via self-discovery).

knowledge experience

Instant answers have less long-term benefits

You ever search YouTube for a solution to a problem? It could be fixing an appliance. Or handling a tricky task involving tools, or how to fold a shirt or wrap a Christmas present, etc. Millions of instructional videos (or “hacks” as they sometimes call them) displaying “the easy way” to do something. In a pinch, this information can be a huge time-saver for some (as if they really put that saved time to good use).

But I feel the lost opportunities are a big deal.

Finding the instant answer, while a “positive” in it’s own right, robs you of something quite irreplaceable. It’s called experience. Lessons learned from failure. Watching others fail might come close – but not quite.

  • When tackling a problem – how many people use their bare hands, available tools, experimentation (risk) and just the brain matter between their ears?
  • While you might fuck up a few times, and your project may take longer (sometimes a LOT longer), finding a solution “the old fashioned way” will also bless with WHY the unsuccessful methods did NOT work. First hand.
  • And who knows, maybe the experience (along with the physical “touch and feel” of failed attempts) will help you at some other point in the future.
  • Those experiences, while not receiving the “glory of success,” all get added to your mental “knowledge base.” Forever.

Becoming an expert via experience and physical repetition will always be our preferred method of learning. It’s how the brain works best. You can witness (the lack of) this each time there is a power outage.

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