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How Much is Too Much?

November 18, 2010

I was naïve enough to believe that learning stopped the day I donned my cap and gown, walked across a snow-covered stage and collected my Bachelor of Arts degree. I truly believed that the book smarts and knowledge I had accumulated over the years would be enough to carry me through. I never imagined that I would have to play catch up just to keep up.

But, as I’ve said before, life has a sneaky way of throwing one curve ball after another at you. I might have graduated with a lot of knowledge but thinking that I could get through life without continuing to learn? Naïve doesn’t even begin to cover that type of thinking.

No career is “learning” free. I’ve learned and continue to learn that the hard and not so hard way.

In the few years that followed graduation, I worked in PR where learning was important. Now, I work in social media where learning isn’t just important but a necessary way to survive. And I’m not talking about the need to constantly learn about every new and shiny social media play toy that comes to market. I’ve tried that and this week I came to the conclusion that it’s just damn near impossible to keep up with it all.

You keep learning and learning and learning AND learning … but it’s still not enough. You blink your eyes for one nanosecond and three new updates, tools, widgets, platforms and browsers have made their debut. It’s exhausting and if I’ll be honest, very stressful.

As someone who spearheads the social media movement in a company you’re charged with knowing the ins and outs. But how much knowledge are we really meant to have in our back pocket? When will it be enough?

I love social media but loving it enough to learn 24/7 won’t make me more knowledge. Sure I could wow people by spouting out information about the latest doo-dad to hit the scene but I’m not interested in always wowing people. I want to make an impact. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that doing that type of learning would actually make me unknowledgeable. Spreading yourself too thin is a social media no-no I learned on day one. Putting the new and the shiny aside, there is still so much to learn and know about the basics.

If there is anything that I’ve learned so far it’s that a firm foundation in the basics can take you a long, long way. A firm foundation in the basics … that’s the type of knowledge that is necessary to survive.

So, for now, I’m taking a break from the constant need to learn what’s new and what’s hot (no need for unnecessary stress). I’ll still keep my eye on things but for now I’m bringing the basics back. I’m making those sexy.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. November 18, 2010 3:20 pm

    Gen: this is such a vital message. Thank you for your insights. It’s about focus.

    • November 18, 2010 5:32 pm

      Alina – you are one that always reminds me of just that 🙂 It is extremely important to focus and now, too often do we lose sight of focus amongst all the noise. Can’t wait to see you next week!

  2. HHD permalink
    November 18, 2010 3:56 pm

    You make everything sexy…basics included 🙂

    • November 18, 2010 5:33 pm

      You are too kind and I think slightly biased! But I’ll take the compliment.

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