In the past, gaining knowledge through learning was necessary and important for humans to survive and evolve. Knowledge was treated with respect, and was passed down from generation to generation using sounds, dance, spoken word, signs, drawings or text. Today, we are all connected over the internet, and have a near-infinite number of opportunities to share knowledge with the world.
In the last decade, a trend has developed for taking a lot of pictures on our smartphones of almost everything we come into contact with during the course of our lives. We are probably living in the most well-documented time in history, considering the number of photos taken. But, how do we take advantage of the possibilities this gives us?
How do we deal with this responsibility?
Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and, of course, Wikipedia are some of the most well-known online tools freely available to everyone. They provide us with outstanding resources for sharing a multitude of content with others as well as archiving large amounts of information.
How do we normally use these tools? Most of the time when we use Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, we just inform others about daily events. This forms a massive body of visual and written information. In fact, I think that with such a large volume of information available, we have started to believe that we can find out everything we need to know by searching the internet.
Incidentally – with every piece of information that we upload using these tools, we also give away the right to use that information to the owner of the platform. When did you last think about that?
How do we pass on our knowledge?
It’s easy to share the tiny details of daily life freely with the world. But what about all the knowledge we have collected over our lifetime – are we supposed to document this as well? Where is the content which goes beyond the everyday? We don’t post this on the internet because for most of us, it is not the big news story of the day, or an exciting event which we have been to.
Sustainable knowledge resources
I believe that we have to rethink, and make knowledge sustainable for future generations. Instead of keeping our wealth of experience for ourselves, it should be shared, either with specific people of our choice or with the wider internet community. In that way, we can gain valuable knowledge from the whole world, improving and enriching the knowledge we share ourselves.