Sunday, October 9, 2011

Knowledge vs. Understanding

This is a topic I've wanted to write about for sometime now but didn't have the chance and lately, the time.

But due to a personal experience I had with an individual this week I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to write upon this subject of knowledge and understanding and what makes the difference.

For about a year now I had been having online discussions with an individual that seemed very knowledgeable about certain aspects of human anatomy and it's relationship to strength training,
particularly squatting.

For the sake of brevity, I had an opportunity to meet up with this individual this past week and
got to discuss face to face the very things we had been discussing online. As the conversation began I quickly realized this may not in fact be the individual I had been talking online with at all. The reason I say this is because it became rather obvious this guy didn't have a clue what I was saying nor did he recall his previous positions on the subject. Curiosity got the best of me and I finally had to interject and ask him what is going on here. You are not the same person I have been talking to online or you've suffered amnesia along the way.

As it turns out this was in fact the right person but what I didn't know is where the guy was getting his information (knowledge). He explained to me in a very sincere way that as we had online discussions he was Googling nearly every aspect we had during our discussion. Bottom line
is this individual did not have understanding of the subject matter at all but he had the knowledge at his fingertips during our online discussions.

What's wrong with this one may ask? Well, I guess there's nothing inherently wrong with it except for the fact that you're misleading another individual into believing you truly understood what it was we were talking about without mentioning you were looking things up as we went. Makes a big difference on how you are perceived to others you talk to online especially when done in the manner this individual did it in.

This brings me to the whole point I would like to make on this story. Due to the internet and technology anyone can seem to have a good understanding of a certain subject matter as long as they're behind a keyboard typing away but the question is, who are you fooling? The answer is you're only fooling yourself not to mention being deceptive.

I believe a lot of this has to do with peoples egos. They don't like to admit they don't understand something so they appear as if they do through the various internet search engines widely available online. You can have knowledge of something but not have a clue as far as understanding the knowledge you gathered to appear educated on the matter.

I can only speak for myself but knowledge without understanding is wasted memory space in your brain. If you really want to know something at least go to the trouble to understand whatever it is you're interested in knowing. Remember, anyone can get online and appear to be knowledgeable, but not everyone wants to go to the trouble to have understanding because this takes effort and nowadays effort seems the last thing on many peoples minds. What matters to them is the fastest way to success with the least amount of effort with no appreciation for those that shared the knowledge in the first place.

This was a real eye opener for me and I learned a lesson along with the way. Do your research if you want understanding and not just knowledge.

May your mind and body work together!!!