4 Lies We Tend to Believe

by Jay Deragon on 09/09/2011

The internet is revolutionizing what we believe and how we act. The influence of free flowing information is creating change, expected and unexpected. The human networks thirst for creating and finding free information grows stronger than anytime in history. While the cost of finding or creating information may seem free there has always been and always will be hidden cost that represents value beyond measure.

While being overloaded by free information we are being distracted by lies which end up stealing our productivity and at the same time reducing our cognitive capabilities.  We all need a filter to sort through the BS propagated by social media and we need to find new knowledge that can raise our own as well as collective productivity.

4 Lies Fueled by the Internet

Lie #1:   It Is All Free:“Free: The Future Of Radical Price,” Wired Magazine editor, Chris Anderson, discusses why he believes that “Sooner or later, every company is going to have to figure out how to use free or compete with free, one way or another.”

But there is always a cost to “free.” While it may not extract a payment from your bank account, there is always a “time” cost involved. As more people spend more time using social technology the cost of time goes up.

The days of “free” thinking are numbered, and no information is never truly free.

Lie #2: Crowd-Sourcing Improves Your Brian-Power

The crowd-sourcing fallacy is that by tapping the collective brainpower of the masses you can solve virtually any problem. But without proper controls the value of the input can be very low quality creating distracting mental clutter and dumbness.

While it is true that the Internet is eliminating many of the gatekeepers, people trying to break into a field without going through gatekeepers find it far harder to gain credibility and foster a “trust” relationship with their audiences.

In the end it still boils down to trust. Can I trust the person I am reading or listening to? Are they an accurate source of information? Will it be worth the time and brainpower I’m investing? What is the true value of my engagement? Is there really any new knowledge to be gained from this content?  Questions we should all use as filters.

Lie #3:  Social Media Is All About Marketing

This lie is actually ruining the probable innovations that social technology, not media, can bring to the 21st century. Social technology is a medium for communicating with a few or many. Communications is the economy, everything economic happens as a result of communications. Economics are the output of any and all systems. Marketing is not the answer to economic stimulation, communications are the stimulus to innovation.  Innovation is the catalyst of any economic growth.

To find and/or create innovations two things have to happen. One is the ability to think outside the norm and the second is to be able to communicate ideas that create improved value.

Lie#4: Value Is Defined by Dollars

The evolution of the human network has been largely influenced by commerce.  We’ve learned to go to work and earn a living. We’ve learned that the end game is all about money. From the industrial revolution to the information revolution most of the related efforts have been centered on the goal of money without regard to the process(es) that create value.

Focusing on money is like playing tennis by focusing on the score.  The game is won in the serves and the returns, not the scoreboard.  The scoreboard just keeps count of the best serves and returns.

If all value is defined by dollars go look into your spouses eyes and ask “how much money are you worth to me?”  The answer is likely to cost you everything you think you are worth.

Can you think of other lies we tend to believe in? Share them.

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