Keep a Healthy Fringe

The awesome thing about the internet is we surround ourselves with all our favorite things.  We follow our friends on facebook and twitter.  We check the news we want to read, when we want to read it.  Our favorite things are always there for us.   It’s all very neat.  But that’s the problem:

It’s too neat.

If you don’t challenge yourself, you don’t grow.

I was lucky enough to see an amazing talk by Lenny Ratchitsky at TEDxConcordia last week about serendipity.  He talked about how often the most important events in life come unplanned and unforeseen.  Chance encounters we seemingly have no control over often result in the most life altering things.  By surrounding ourselves in digital life with only the things we love, our chance for life-changing events and realizations diminishes greatly.  If we follow the advice of others too much, our experiences become generic.  We share the same experiences.  Instead of reading restaurant reviews, why not just go outside and eat at a restaurant you’ve never heard of?  Why not turn off GPS and find your way by your intuition?  Sure, you might eat some horrible meals and get lost every now and then, but being lost can be pretty fun sometimes.

So that’s my idea for the day: Turn off the GPS on your digital life and do things on the internet that don’t make perfect sense.

Keep a fringe.

Follow people you don’t know.  Go to websites you’ve never been before.  Click on links that don’t interest you at all.  Try new things.  Sure, most of the time these links will be complete duds, and some of the folks you follow will be so completely boring/annoying it hurts.  But keep it up for a bit before you cut them off.  The most surprising things always come from the most unexpected places. 

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2 Comments on “Keep a Healthy Fringe”

  1. Allan Wills says:

    That sounds like an amazing talk. And you are right; don't let technology rule you, live on the fringe!

  2. Los Torrientes says:

    And that is why I am randomly reading your blog. Cool.

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