“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” Wise words from Benjamin Franklin. Many more of the world’s greatest minds share the idea that the best investment you can make is in yourself. Whether it be through healthy eating, exercise, mindfulness or, in this case, expanding your knowledge, subsequently becoming a smarter and wiser person.
Unfortunately, we live in an era where we’re drip-fed small amounts of dopamine-stimulating information through social media and viral blogs. This has resulted in shortened attention spans. Younger generations are finding it increasingly difficult to get through text-heavy novels, never mind their own school books.
Ironically, a great way of fighting this lies online. There are countless websites that exist to help you learn new things or increase your current knowledge of a variety of topics in less traditional and more fun ways.
Reddit’s “Today I Learned”
The so-called “front page of the internet” has numerous forums dedicated to certain topics. One particularly popular and noteworthy one is the famous Today I Learned subreddit. Here, users post small bits of information detailing a certain fact that they learned online.
From historical events to random tidbits about daily life, there’s a lot you can learn. And the facts don’t just present themselves in single sentence format, either. Each post links to a webpage where further information is available. The comment section is usually ripe with information as well.
Interactive Online Courses
Here you have a lot of options depending on what you’re most interested in. The best part is that a large majority of these courses are free, or at the very least, free to try. If coding is your thing, Codecademy has an impressive suite of interactive programming courses for you to type through, each outfitted with their own text editor, tutorial, and output, all within your browser.
Google’s Garage course offers anyone with a Google Account a free course on internet marketing with professionally made videos and quizzes, along with a final examination that will reward you with a certificate when you pass. Not only will you learn a thing or two about how the internet works, but you’ll also have a real certificate to add to your resume.
While endlessly browsing through these may not help you attain much knowledge, you can take a more educational and systematic approach. If you find a fact interesting, look it up online and do some further reading on it. It may just lead you to find a topic or subject that you’re interested in learning in-depth.
There are numerous sites out there that focus on facts about specific topics. Factsd.Com features a variety of topics and is updated regularly with new posts.
Do Your Own Research
If the above methods aren’t your style, you can always figure out the things you’ve always wanted to know. After all, you have the world’s knowledge at your fingertips. It’s up to you to utilize it.
So, the next time you’re sitting shotgun on an eight-hour road trip, lying in bed staring at the roof or sitting at your desk wondering what to do, open up the web and see what you can find out.