Ignorance is Bliss: 7 Reasons Why Information Overload Is Harmful

Ignorance is Bliss. It generally connotes we don’t worry about the things we don’t know. It was first coined by an English poet Thomas Gray in his 1768 Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College. In a similar fashion with “In knowing nothing, life is most delightful” by Publilius Syrus, a Latin writer of ancient Rome.

How much have we missed about our childhood? Those days were when we became rarely wrong. Many of our problems when we became adults came from what we have known more than from those we have not known.

When we were young, most of us are unaware of the thing that worried adults. We wake up in the morning knowing it’s going to be the same day tomorrow. We are happy and sometimes sad but most of the time we are carefree from the worries of the adult world.

We have limited free time yet we enjoyed it and it seems time will last forever. As we grow into adulthood, we began to start to hate the place and the neighborhood we once loved. Growth spurts, testosterone spikes, and other hormonal imbalances affect our perspective and things are never going to be the same again.

1. The Problems Starts When We Know It

The Problems Starts When We Know It - Ignorance is Bliss

The problem arises when we know a lot and get affected by the issues. When we became adults everything changes in our behaviors, it affects everything. When our perspectives began to grow and our emotions developed towards a certain goal. We would also develop certain expectations that when we don’t get it, we will feel disappointed.

The impact differs a lot on how much time and effort we have invested in that area. If some chance we failed but other people are oblivious about our failure, it would be easy to accept and move on. But, if the failure is unleashed in public, the impact will be different. The judgment and rumors of those you have known can affect a person’s self-esteem, especially if he takes everything personally.

“11 The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails – given by one shepherd. 12 Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them. Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.” – Ecclesiastes 12:11-12 (NIV)

The constant search for wisdom sometimes leads to misery, depression, and other painful experiences. Ecclesiastes 12:12 has a warning to not give too much study for it wearies the body. This quote expresses universal truth about too much seeking of knowledge and pursuit of wisdom is meaningless. There’s no need to be a hard-core knowledge seeker.

2. When is Enough to Get Knowledge?

When is Enough to Get Knowledge - Ignorance is Bliss

But when is enough for seeking knowledge? What is the barometer of when we should stop seeking knowledge? The answers to these questions will be subjective to the receiver. To get knowledge to get solutions to the problem is more than enough, there’s no need to be a perfectionist. Seeking knowledge to get a solution should always serve as your main goal.

The internet is full of content that you can get knowledge of in the blink of an eye. Yet it would also provide information overload to the consumer. There’s nothing wrong with getting knowledge from different content creators such as this article, as long as it serves the purpose. Ask why before clicking the content, not for sheer curiosity.

3. It Can Either Save or Endanger Your Life

It Can Either Save or Endanger Your Life - Ignorance is Bliss

It could also save your life too. Let’s say, for example, you’ve worked for a shady organization and you know a lot of secrets. You became valuable in the process, and it will be hard for them to replace you because of your knowledge. The only drawback is when their trust starts to subside against you. Then, you became a threat to them; your existence became dangerous to them.

These situations are unhealthy to both sides. A fight or flight scenario could erupt at any moment. Survival mechanism will become the main goal for both parties involved. And, if you are an individual involved with no power and big connections, you should start to pray. This type of scenario is also prevalent in businesses and a variety of work environments as well.

4. Brilliance Can Inspire Envy

Brilliance Can Inspire Envy - Ignorance is Bliss

Don’t be naïve and never show off at the wrong time of what you already know; it might be used against you. Any individual that has the capability to shine must dampen their brilliance at some point in their life. There are many moments in history when these individuals suffer from the envy of their own social circle.

They experienced it most from their close friends, co-workers, and even became a threat to their superiors. You can be branded as arrogant or worst as a rebel or a traitor. When these things start to happen, you should expect false accusations and other charges you never had expected you have done. Your trust ratings can plummet and your public reputation is ruined.

These could have been all avoided when you keep your profile low. Several real-life stories can support all this. One example of this is Sir Walter Raleigh; a dazzling courtier of Queen Elizabeth I. Raleigh was a brilliant scientist and explorer, a famous poet and writer, a brave soldier and spy, and a successful entrepreneur and statesman.

Raleigh was a man of many talents and handsome to boot, he never knew why wherever he goes he had a lot of stubborn opposition. His reputation, skills, and charm shine whenever he enters a room. It created silent enemies that reported false accusations against him which resulted in his demise.

Our actions often stir up envy when people knew you had something that they don’t have. Envy creates friction and intrigue which makes them want to have what you have. Wealth can be achieved by many, but with natural talents mixed with beautiful looks; are the qualities only so few can meet.

5. Overcoming the Envious Can Be Difficult

Overcoming the Envious Can Be Difficult - Ignorance is Bliss

Even the great Renaissance man Michelangelo was not exempted. When he created the tomb for the Pope, his envious rival speak ill about the project that it is a bad omen to create a tomb while you are still alive. In the end, the Pope listened and the project was canceled.

His rival on other hand wanted to humiliate him. Suggesting the Pope give Michelangelo a huge project which has never been done before on the Sistine Chapel. This huge project turned out to be one of Michelangelo’s lasting masterpieces.

So how these stories connected to ignorance do is bliss? When you begin to have more experiences in life, it affects how you will perceive the world around you. These perceptions mold you to become what you are now. Your knowledge and wisdom could help create friends or enemies. Life is so short to have enemies. Learn to stay low.

6. There’s a Huge Responsibility for Your Wisdom

There's a Huge Responsibility for Your Wisdom - Ignorance is Bliss

Make sure you are responsible for how you use your wisdom. For it can make or break your success and future endeavors. Sometimes, when we become ignorant of the situation, is also not bliss. When we do things which as good but we don’t know that it hurt other people’s feelings.

When we show off our plans which are not proven to have results can sometimes be misunderstood as arrogance and can lead to many sufferings.

7. Expect More Pain

Expect More Pain - Ignorance is Bliss

When Elon Musk, tried to build a rocket company, his friends tried to dissuade him by showing failed rocket launch videos. He failed many times, almost went bankrupt, and lost 100 million dollars in the process. The process has also cost a lot of suffering, although he succeeded at the last attempt by sheer chance or luck. The question is what if the last attempt did not succeed?

These human sufferings could have been avoided if we don’t know too much. By becoming knowledgeable, our horizons stretch and opportunities expand. The human tendency to become insatiable is real and dominating in our society. We began to aspire for more and became more ambitious than before we started.

The ambitious drive to achieve one’s goal could lead to a lot of suffering whether you are passionate or not, it still takes time, energy, and resources. So being content with what you have can have a lot of benefits.

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