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IT Savvy, But Stupid

Twitter screen

In the age of information it seems we would be better off with more wisdom and a little less information.

By Edward H. Spence

In an age of information abundance there is a deficit of wisdom.

Edward H. Spence is a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy and Ethics at Charles Sturt University’s School of Communication and Creative Industries.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

The age of abundant information is paradoxically marked by a deficit of wisdom. It seems the more information we have the less wise we are in managing and controlling it for our individual and collective well-being.

The problem is that there is too much information and there is not enough time to absorb it, understand its implications and judge the best way to use it for our individual and common good. The glut of information has created gluttony for information, which can lead us to behave not necessarily unethically but unwisely and in some cases downright foolishly.

Examples of unwise and foolish online behaviour abound, such as the Australian triple Olympic gold medallist who lost a lucrative sponsorship with Jaguar as a result of a thoughtless tweet about the South African rugby team; the Canberra Raiders star who was photographed performing an act of simulated bestiality with a dog, which was later published on the internet and forced his resignation; a journalist with The Age who was fired for a series of unsavoury but mostly silly “tweets” about various TV personalities and celebrities; a journalist in Ireland with the County Down Outlook who was sacked after making hate comments on her Facebook page about the young woman Michaela Harte murdered on her honeymoon in Mauritius; and a US journalist who resigned after making insensitive tweets about Lara...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.