The hidden cost of finding solutions online

Before the internet, learning to play a popular song on the guitar was hard work. You had to listen to the song over and over to figure out the chords in the background. Today, all you have to do is to download the song’s tab. Better yet, you have Youtube videos that deconstruct the song step-by-step.

It has never been easier to learn to play a popular song today. In the bargain, however, budding guitarists are unlikely to go through the grind of training their ears.

The internet makes it easy for us to learn from other people. We can combine 5 different pav-bhaji recipes to create our own. We can turn into movie critics by watching five different reviews of Parasite. If we are struggling to interpret a book’s ending, several online reviews can fill in the gaps.

However, this easy availability of information makes is less likely for us to develop our own critical thinking skills. We are likely to merely parrot back opinions that appeal to us rather than reason them out from the first principles.

Convenience always comes at a cost. When you obtain a solution online, you lose the thrill and the learning in figuring it out yourself.

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