In this sound bite filled world, we are rarely given very much time to think critically about the information that we are presented with.
The media presents the message they want to in a 30 second snap shots and move on to the next story before you question the message. Written articles are little more than hidden agendas presented in small visual fields primed for mental grazing rather than serious contemplation.
Critical thinking is important to ensure you are not left thinking the same as everyone else and in the way that the media want you to.
If we all think the same, then no-one is actually thinking, just following everyone else. Here are a few tips to help you think critically:
- Be informed – Read as much as you can on key subjects and read what different people think about those subjects. Having a variety of opinions to consider allows you to make a more informed decision about what YOU think.
- Avoid making an early decisions – Allow yourself the time to consider and don’t pre-judge any situation or idea. Think ‘vu ja de’ not ‘de ja vu’. Look at everything as though you have never seen it before.
- Be open to new ideas – Having a curious mind will allow you to ask questions more readily and be critical of those ideas read and hear.
- Be honest with yourself – People have prejudices and biases, we all do. They allow us to make rapid decisions without the effort of thinking too much. Being aware of these prejudices and biases can help you be more open to alternative views.
- Look for the truth value – Spin is endemic in the media. Look for the truth in the message and search for the reason a message is crafted in a particular way.
- Find the facts hidden in the opinion – Facts are facts no matter which way you look at them, opinions are different views of those facts. Find the facts and develop your own opinion.
Although not a rigorous set of rules for critical thinking, applying these ideas can help you sort the information from the agenda. Even in this posting!
Dare to Aspire