But this study reminds us that there is a vast difference between knowingness and knowledge. Knowingness can be achieved simply by scanning your Twitter account. Knowledge requires more discipline, direction, and—the quality perhaps most absent on social media—patience. Knowledge is power; knowingness, by contrast, risks creating a world of Know-Nothings.
Trash collected by the eyes and dumped into the brain;
Discriminate, said Schopenhauer. Learn when to abstain.
(He might say, were he here today, of media old and new:
Give a book a face and it will gaze back into you.)
Monkeys chatter, bluebirds tweet. Withdraw and go your way.
Restore your soul with knowledge and let knowingness decay.
Nothing particularly profound about this one. Just your standard expression of disgust with the shallow stupidity of social media. It’s interactive, though, which was fun — the links provide important context which wouldn’t otherwise fit in such a short poem and simple rhyme scheme. I’m most proud of working in the allusion to Facebook being the Nietzschean abyss. The first line is a blatant theft of a Guns ‘N’ Roses lyric; I hope Axl doesn’t sue me for it. All in all, a pleasant afternoon’s work.