I listened to a friend’s seven-year-old share his views on a prominent technology company and its founder. I was shocked by how much he knew. I asked his father if he had discussed this company or the founder with his son. No, he said, and he wondered where he’d learned about them. Our assumption is, the internet. We think he heard about the company, liked it, and did some research to learn more.
The internet didn’t exist when I was his age, but I vividly remember finally getting online access at my parents’ home. I spent hours digging into subjects I was interested in and reading everything about them I could find. It was a game changer. Forums and chat rooms exposed me to new things—to a world I didn’t know existed. I ended up using some of this knowledge to start a company in high school. I’d say the internet was a big reason I became an entrepreneur.
Today I still spend lots of time online learning about things that interest me. I try to find a credible person (on Twitter, Medium, or Substack) and read about what they know or think about a topic or watch YouTube videos of them sharing their thoughts. I’ve gained a lot of extremely valuable knowledge this way.
Information is power. I love how the internet has made information more available to the masses. It’s empowered people to share their expertise and given others a way to consume it. With decentralization and other trends gaining momentum, I suspect my friend’s son and his generation will experience a completely new way of learning. They will be more knowledgeable than previous generations, and how they learn will likely be radically different.