July 23, 2016
At a time when information is so readily available and you can practically ‘Google’ anything under the sun, you would think that our grasp of general knowledge should be higher than ever before. Unfortunately, this article shows us that today’s millennial generation actually have a weaker grasp of general knowledge, according to a study conducted by Kent University professors. But why is general knowledge important? And why should we be worried?
Thriving in a social setting
General knowledge refers to those bits and pieces of information that you don’t traditionally learn in school. Rather, you build up your general knowledge with the help of non-specialist media and various life experiences. While the depth of your general knowledge depends on what your interests are and what you allow yourself to immerse in, it goes without saying that general knowledge can help you thrive in a social setting.
If you are armed with general knowledge, you can ease yourself into conversations better. No matter what kind of social setting you’re thrown at, general knowledge will help you talk your way into interesting conversations with practically anyone. You will thrive in any social setting because you can talk about anything under the sun.
To do this, having a good grasp of current events is a great conversation-starter. However, it’s also good to know about another culture and facts about another country, because this helps you thrive in multicultural interactions. If you find that you have something in common with someone you barely know and then use your general knowledge to add excitement to the conversation, you could very well end up with a couple of friends even if at the beginning all of you were strangers.
The intelligence factor
Naturally, having a good grasp of general knowledge can also add to your intelligence. When you’re in school, you have set lessons that you need to master. But exercising your memory and your brain with added general knowledge can actually lead to better grades and increase your intelligence. It’s also good to add general knowledge to what you know because it puts some variety into the lessons that you’re investing brain power on.
There are any other uses of general knowledge facts, and school is not the only setting. When you find yourself participating in a pub quiz, game show, competition, or even exam, having general knowledge is definitely a plus.
More than that, general knowledge makes you not just intelligent, but street smart. Those who have a lot of general knowledge can adapt to situations more and tend to make better decisions. For example, knowledge about basic laws and your rights as a citizen can make you fare better in situations when those rights are threatened. In the same way, knowledge about the culinary specialities of different countries ensures that you get the best dish when you find yourself dining in a foreign restaurant.
Experiencing the world
Because of this added intelligence, you also tend to be more creative and innovative, building up on whatever is being taught. General knowledge also tends to impress a lot of people, but you should be careful not to use it simply to impress. Otherwise, you’ll be one of those people rattling off annoying trivia items just to show how much they know.
But perhaps one of the most important uses of general knowledge is that it broadens your mind to possibilities and allows you to experience the world for what it’s worth. The world is a fascinating place, and there are so many aspects to the world we exist in that can just pass us by if we’re not aware of them.
Imagine this: knowing what’s happening to the world around us through current events, appreciating how we got to where we are today through history, and understanding the many other persons, places, cultures, and scientific discoveries allow us to immerse in experiences far beyond the four walls of the classroom. Experiencing other genres of music, or learning about something as random as the capital city to a country from the opposite side of the world – these things allow us to better grasp what the world has to offer.
More than that, this study actually shows that those who have a lot of general knowledge tend to be more open to new experiences. Because they know what’s out there, these people are more open to the many things life can throw at them and more conscientious about the opportunities that may come their way.
There are many answers to the question “Why is general knowledge important?” But the bottom line is that improving your grasp of general knowledge can not only help you win quizzes and give you better grades, it can also contribute to your overall learning as you journey in this thing called life.