The world turns on the power of ideas, and yet the social media world seems very often to revolve around shallow opinions. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and others encourage a 24/7 barrage of opinions on every subject imaginable.
In my book Jolt, I reveal that the average employee spends up to 40 percent of his or her day dealing with email and that 70 percent of workers experience great stress when their email systems go down (with 10 percent of that group physically assaulting their computers).
Email, social media, blogs and other tools allow us to weigh in on everything from politics to sports to art—whether or not we’re actually qualified to report on the issue at hand. Sure, much of these are just innocent comments exchanged between friends, but the question is: How much of your life is spent spewing opinions versus developing or thinking about great ideas?
Do you spend most of your time online discussing the latest conspiracy, Kardashian sister and political or office trivia, or thinking about issues that really matter? Certainly gossip has always been a staple in our culture. It didn’t take social media to reveal that.
But a simple reading of local newspapers, watching TV or checking popular magazines show that while there’s an abundance of chatter, there may be a famine of great ideas in our culture today.
The bottom line? Stop living under the tyranny of clichés. Fight the distractions that the digital world is built on. Take advantage of the progress mobile devices, computers, the Internet and other digital inventions have brought us. But don’t forget to carve out time without those distractions—the kind of time it takes to birth the serious ideas people will remember.
Phil Cooke is a filmmaker, media critic and adviser to some of the largest churches, ministries and nonprofit organizations in the world. He's the founder of the Influence Lab.
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