Is Social Media Culture Breeding Intelligence Ignorance?

Andy Peloquin

Personal Training

Fitness, fitness, social media, scientific method, nutritional research, diet plans, Trending, fitness-related research

 

Every day, millions of scientists around the world spend their time researching, studying, evaluating, and analyzing. They produce thousands of scholarly articles and research papers every month, publishing them in journals to share with the world.

 

 

But how many people actually read that information? As one piece in the British Medical Journal states, "knowledge management has started and ended with the publication of an article, or the rare chance of a lecture or speech at a conference attended by other researchers."

 

There is so much information at our fingertips—information on every aspect of fitness, exercise, diet, and health, but if that information is never accessed, studied, and used, it's never going to improve life. It's of the utmost importance that the knowledge obtained via these studies is translated, disseminated, and shared.

Thus, the social media culture has bred a sort of intelligent ignorance wherein people believe they know something because they heard, read, or watched a video about it.

The sad truth is that evidence-based practices are always going to compete with the popular or trendy on our modern social media. Many people will believe their favorite celebrity when they say a diet or workout plan works, and they'll never think twice about researching to find out what scientific literature has to say on the subject. Thus, the social media culture has bred a sort of intelligent ignorance wherein people believe they know something because they heard, read, or watched a video about it.

 

It's up to each of us to go beyond the easily consumed content available online today and dig into the facts behind everything. When you read an article that swears by a certain fitness routine, spend some time researching the science that is used to make those claims. When a diet product sweeps the world with its magic pill benefits, take a cold, hard look at the data to back the product up. Don't swallow information just because it's presented in a clear, easy to read way. It's worth the effort to know the facts behind the claims, the raw scientific data.

 

As the review says, "research has to be of great quality before knowledge translation, and sharing becomes relevant." Low-quality information readily available online is not a reliable source of knowledge. Instead, you need to rely on the high-quality information found in scholarly articles, research papers, and published studies. This is the sort of information that has gone through all the rigorous scientific methods, rather than some guru or fitness expert spouting their latest theories about health and wellness.

 

Reference:

1. Kotila, Karen, et al. “From knowing to doing: it takes a village.” Br J Sports Med, BMJ Publishing Group Ltd and British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine, 1 Oct. 2017. 

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