They say “there are no dumb questions”, but it doesn’t mean that every question you have should be asked of another human being. What do I mean by this, you ask? We live in the digital age. Literally, all of humankind’s collective knowledge is available all in one place, at the push of a button (or a voice command). The amount of information available to us is unlike any time in history. So, why does it seem like humans know less these days?
Some people think that we have such a strong dependency on digital devices that we retain less information, knowing that we can reference it somewhere later on. Others believe our dependency on digital devices makes us lazier, and we actually end up learning less.
No matter what the truth really is, there is one key point that anyone reading this article needs to retain: when you don’t know something, take a friggin second to look it up!
I don’t know how many times people ask me basic questions that can be answered with a simple google search. By asking someone instead of looking it up on your own, you look lazy, unmotivated, and pretty dumb. It also conveys a message that you expect other people to do your work. Do you really want to be perceived that way?
Now look, I realize that you can’t trust everything you read on the internet, #fakenews. I also understand that sometimes, the answers aren’t easy to find. But at the end of the day, the onus is on you to be an adult and do your best to get the information you seek on your own. If you attempt this and are unsuccessful, then sure, ask someone. But also preface your question with a statement letting them know that you did try to find the answer, but were unable to. This will show people that you aren’t a lazy shit, and that you value their time.
Training yourself to “look stuff up” will make you appear more responsible and competent at work. It will do wonders for your career and reputation.
I always train younger people on the job to maintain this mindset of independent research; you should never rely on anyone else to get your job done.
– Always looking out