I believe that access to worldwide information in real-time is a huge thing for the world. Anyway, in my opinion, in some cases it could be detrimental to social relations. Telling something to somebody who doesn’t know it gives us a positive feeling. I beliee it’s the feeling to be useful. Is the same feeling that you perceive when you teach something to a kid. In that case, you “work” on a virgin field, and for a parent is amazing to tell something to his son (or daughter), looking through his big wide eyes which show an alert listening. No matter if the kid will forget that simple thing, in that moment his amazed expression is the best wage for the parent’s effort. This happens in adults too: when I tell something to my girlfriend, or to a friend, something they don’t know, my brain releases some chemical which makes me pleased. this makes me feel somehow important, subconsciously. Try to notice that.
But now there’s something morbid in the way people make use of information. You have to know EVERYTHING, and immediately! You never want to be unprepared, you never want to say something older than a few days. In the best case you receive as answer a “yeah, I already know that”, which in any case destroys the excitement of the original speaker, closing abruptly the dialog. As if being not informed, or didn’t know something before, would be a fault.
This feeling is very uncomfortable for the person trying to start a conversation, maybe telling something fun or interesting read somewhere. Especially for today’s event internet is full of F5ers. This is the name I use to identify people who spend most of their day by refreshing news/reddit/facebook/twitter. After I received a sequence of “old”, “yes, I already saw it”, even for 10 minutes ago news, I decided to take action. I’ll try not to start a conversation starting with the words “did you know that..” or “did you see..”. It’s useless, those people already know. I won’t mind if I’ll lose some occasions to have interesting conversations. The arrogance of those smartasses is too unpleasant. Moreover, I’m certainly not that guy that shares stuff like “did you see the new rat-dog from Zambia on Reddit?”. Usually I try to fill my conversation on more stimulating topics, trying to have an interesting exchange of opinions. With the F5ers this is impossible. No dialogs, useless debates.
I must admin that I have been on the other side as well. Lately it happened to me to already know something, and someone told me “did you see that..”, and I already knew it. At that point I had two choices: answer as a F5er, “yes, already saw that.” and stop the conversation at that point. Or, I could have answered “ah, interesting..” and have a nice small talk about it, and maybe exchange some opinions about it. I chose the second, to try a little experiment and see how the conversation would have proceeded. What I lost? Nothing. For sure my interlocutor didn’t label me as an idiot by not knowing that news. And maybe she felt happy to tell me something new.