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Below is the conversation between a nine-year-old girl and a seven-year-old girl, when they were making a card for Mother’s Day:
7-year-old girl: How should I draw mama?
9-year-old girl: Go Google search.
I overheard the conversation and told the 7-year-old girl that her mummy would be happy if she draws it herself, even if it is not perfect.
What interests me is the answer given by the 9-year-old girl. How can you Google search your own mother? She must be so used to using search engine that the first thing she can think of whenever there is a question, is to search online.
I agree that we can search for answers online with current technology easily available and accessible. But before we use the information, we should consider the following:
- Copyright issues. It is easy to copy anything, but it does not belong to you. Furthermore, searching for “my mum” does not give you a portrait of your own mum at home.
- Is the information authentic? You get tons of information with one search, but can you really trust the information you have? One should always do further research if the information is for important use.
- Is the information suitable to be used? Once, I read about the use of soft drink to clean the toilet bowl. So, I tested it out by pouring the soft drink into the toilet bowl and left it there for the effect to take place. To my surprise, after a few hours, the toilet bowl was full of ants “drinking” the soft drink and I had to put in more effort to clean the toilet bowl. Since then, I rather clean the toilet bowl using the “conventional” way.
- Is the information updated? I have been writing blogs for two months now and I find it difficult to keep writing. I am wondering, will I still be writing after two years? Or maybe after 10 years? Thus, I believe that there are many websites out there that are not updated due to various reasons.
- Where is the curiosity? Curiosity killed the cat. But nowadays, people do not need curiosity anymore, because they can search for anything online. In my own words, I would say the technology has killed the cat’s curiosity. The cat would be out there exploring the world happily, but now it can just sit in front of a pc and search whatever it wants to know.
- Where is the creativity? Taking the example of “my mum”, if everyone is going to draw the same mum by searching online, we will not get “a variety of mums”. “My mum” is referring to the one and only mummy that “belongs” to me and my siblings, not the generic mum online.
Technology is to help us, not for us to rely solely on it. Rather than spending time online, why not we spend some time offline getting our hands dirty and exploring our world? Just like cats do. It is sure worth the time spent.
Easy! 1+1 = 2
But in actual scenario, we may get different answers from different people:
Young children who have just learnt Addition: 1+1 = 2
People who think in Chinese: 一+一 = 王
(One is 一 in Chinese, and if arrange vertically, you get the Chinese character 王)
For Korean lovers: 1+1 = gwiyomi
Secondary school students who have just learnt binary: 1+1 = 10
What other answers can you think of?
There is no one and single answer in this world, we are searching for alternate answers whether at work or in life. In school, students learn that there is only one answer, especially the MCQ. Students will slowly lose the creativity if teachers and parents cultivate a “one-answer-only” environment.
Thus, students must train themselves to not only think out of the box, but think out of the world. You can do the following PQR:
- Play! Physical games or electronics games, you choose. Either one, playing helps in creating a different environment that is full of excitement. Personally, I prefer physical games because when you play, you have better blood circulation. Better blood circulation leads to faster brain activity.
- Question. Ask why and how. When you have one answer, always ask yourself, is there another answer? When you find that doing something in a particular way is dull and repetitive, ask yourself, can you do it another way? Innovative machines sometimes come from one question.
- Read different types of books, be it detective, horror, fantasy, novel, love, etc. Different types of books bring you to different worlds, expose you to different ideas and ignite your curiosity.
Continue the good habits above into adulthood. At work, find a better and faster way to do your job. In life, think of better way to enjoy life. If we want to do our jobs better or live a better life, we must always be creative and innovative.