At the start of the first ever X-Men movie, back in 2000, Professor X (played by the actor Patrick Stewart) says that evolution usually takes thousands or millions of years to unfold… but every now and then… it takes a giant leap forwards in a very short space of time…
And that is exactly what is happening Now… yes, right Now…
No, I don’t mean that we’re all going to get super-powers (… although that would be nice… but you can never guarantee you would end up with the super-power you have always dreamed of… or one which was super-cool, or worth bragging about. Knowing my luck… I would end-up with a super-power that was of no practical use in helping to catch evil super villains.)
No, the human race is literally being upgraded, in just the last 2 decades, by… of all things… the Internet.
The Internet… and how we are interacting with the information online… is literally re-wiring our brains… and this is being documented by proper grown-up scientists… who call themselves cyber-neurologists…
How we use the Internet… how we interact with information on the Internet… how we use / process that information… is changing us… changing how we behave, changing how we think… respond… and how we interact with other people and the world around us.
And you only have to check out young, tech savy kids to see that this revolution is not only here to stay… but is also accelerating and deepening.
For those who are still interested in diving deeper… books to read about this… Nicholas Carr The Shallows: How the internet is changing the way we read, think and remember… and Mary Aiken The Cyber Effect: A pioneering cyberpsychologist explains how human behaviour changes online.
The argument goes that we are becoming a species that wants our information in a quick and immediate fix, we hate to have to go searching for it… we want it now and in a way which makes total sense to us (i.e. we don’t want to have to think about stuff)… we surf information, rather then diving deep into any single area for too long… and we are much more inclined to click away if something doesn’t exact fit our expectations.
All of which has profound implications for future human civilization… because if we are species which learns… and passes on our learning to future generations… then anything which changes how we learn and process fresh information is like a cultural + evolutionary tsunami…
Now, a few journalists have been documenting the main changes which are obvious… (i.e. politics, social media)… but I thought I would like to also explore two… off the main-track… areas where I think the changes are already noticeable… and will also have profound consequences… but in ways you may not immediately think of.
And those areas are… Meditation / Intuition… and eCourses.
Meditation & Intuition – How to speed up the growing of grass?
Now the teaching of Meditation is something which, I believe, is going to have to dramatically change to better fit in with the needs and expectations of the coming Internet influenced generations… and you can already see signs of how people pitch Meditation changing in order to be seen as more relevant.
It’s not that busy, modern people just don’t have time to sit down and let the grass grow by itself.
But that people want the benefits of Meditation to manifest sooner… where is this relaxation, mental calm, and deeper intuition that people keep talking about? … I want these benefits NOW!
So the way in which Meditation is talked about will need to change… along with the way it is taught… and the setting of realistic expectations.
But there are some things abut our Inner World which it isn’t so easy to change… because it’s hard-wired into how the Universe works.
Such as Intuition… which isn’t always an immediate flash-bang answer thing… but needs time to set-up… and so needs a high-degree of let-go and relaxation… even patience.
One of the things I have learnt from working with the higher energy spaces… and this was a tough one for a Virgo… but patience, and letting go of the need to know and have everything sorted in that exact moment, is essential for the right practice of Intuition…
Bottom-line, Intuition takes time… it can’t be rushed… no matter how badly you need an answer to your problems.
The way I describe it… you are on the top floor of a building, and you drop a feather over the side. It doesn’t drop like a stone, but slowly glides its way down to the ground over time…
In the same way… intuitive information from the higher spaces doesn’t automatically drop down into our conscious mind (bit like when we return from dreaming)… it filters down over time… so you kind of need to relax… know that you have touched what you need to know… and relax knowing that the information will come down into your waking mind in the next few days… which it usually does.
The more you try and make it happen… the more frustrated you get… the more it undermines the translation process. Which is kind of what needs to happen… One layer of your Being “translates” the information to the next layer down, that translates it to the next level down… and then finally it ends up in your conscious waking mind… in a way you can understand and use.
This is one of the reasons why I think teaching Meditation / Intuition to the next generation is going to be quite hard…
Because more and more people are used to getting their answers from the Internet NOW… and so the coming generations will be the instant gratification kids…
But the higher energy spaces of our Being just don’t work that way… and the more people stamp their feet saying it should… the more frustrated they become… and the more they will undermine the whole intuitive process… and just go back online, searching for someone who can sell them a ready-made answer.
To my mind, the new Internet modern mind which is emerging isn’t always the best fit for Meditation and Intuition… so interesting times ahead there I believe.
eCourses – A Rapidly Changing eWorld
…. And a similar thing is happening with Online Education (aka eCourses)… a lot of people are currently pushing their eCourses… which teach people how to make other eCourses… promising great rewards and riches… which are indeed possible, if you can provide what people really want and need.
But… there is a problem here (… isn’t there always).
In the early days of the Internet… (remember, 1990s, when it was all big blocks of text, few images because of download speeds… and no one had ever heard of YouTube)… the assumption was that all you did was take existing course content, and upload it… as is.
Now, today, very few people are engaging with those old style courses… because they are being seen as… boring.
And the Big statistic is that 70% of these purchased old-style online courses never get completed…
… Not because people don’t want to (after all, they reached for their credit card to purchase… so there must have been something that sparked their interest)…
No, a large part of that 70% failure rate is due to the fact that the presentation of learning and information across the Internet… needs to be different… or else people just switch-off… and don’t engage.
Remember… the content / information hasn’t changed really… but the Internet has changed the brains of the people who want to access that information… and so if you don’t factor that in… people tend to switch off… because the Internet has changed us… we’re not the same kind of people as 30 or 40 years ago.
But this crucial lesson is one which I seldom see reflected in the eCourses about creating eCourses… they very seldom talk abut what is working now… how to best pitch your content to an Internet conditioned market.
Now, at this point I would like to mention 2 successful online entrepreneurs, Bradley Morris and Andy Freist, who do indeed teach people how to create successful eCourses… via their eCourse offering… The Great eCourse Adventure… over @ www.thegreatecourseadventure.com.
And one of their big lessons… your eCourse needs to be relevant to the new Internet eLearners out there.
From Day 1… they have been very committed to teaching their students that online learning is different… and that people need to approach it in a different way… present the information differently… if they are to stand a chance at potential students finishing the eCourse… and so reduce that 70% figure downwards.
Their main approach is known as gamification… i.e. turn the online learning experience into a game to increase and sustain engagement…
There is more about their unique take on the changing world of online education in this Blog post (and they do offer a 14 day Free Trial for anyone who interested in exploring their approach to eCourse development and marketing… In fact, if anyone asks me to recommend a good eCourse eCourse… I send them in the direction of Brad and Andy.)
But one thing I have noticed from their offerings… they started with the Great eCourse Adventure about 2 years ago… and they could have just stuck with that…
But as their post above explains… through monitoring their own eCourses, and those of their students, they realized that the changes in how we process information online is so great, and still changing… that we can no longer follow a one size fits all approach, but that online educators need to provide potential students with different sizes / durations of eCourse… so in their case:
- Walk in the Park (duration measured in minutes)
- Day Trek (duration measured in hours / days)
- Vision Quest (duration measure in weeks)
- Great eCourse Adventure (duration measured in months)
In this way, potential students get to sign-up to the eCourse duration which best suits them… and hopefully when they have tasted success on one level… they will move on up to the next level…
Now… it may be easy to say that eCourses and online education is a side show… it’s not really going to impact on mainstream education…
… But once again, to think that is to completely miss the point…
Because, when all those kid brains going into mainstream education… or on to University maybe… where have they all been.
Yep… on to the Internet… for great chunks of time…
… so even mainstream education cannot count itself immune from the social / human changes which are on the way.
Note: Personally, I don’t think gamification is the only way to capture interest, and so increase engagement, and completion rates… but it is one which works… and any other teaching method needs to reach out to where people currently are… rather then hope they are where you want them to be.
Now… if you have ever read any Sci Fi from the 1950s, say Philip K Dick and the like, you will probably know that back then, the evolution of the human race was predicted to be sparked by radiation from man-made nuclear explosions… or reactor leaks.
The irony is… 60 years later… that’s not what has changed us.
It’s Amazon… and Wikipedia… and Facebook… and YouTube… and online gaming… and social media… (and not to forget the unmentionable horny elephant in the room… online pornography)…
For better or worse… these are the forces currently re-shaping the human brain and experience.
All the stuff which appears so ephemeral… but which is, in reality, changing how our brain’s work… and how we all think…
And even those who don’t own a computer or smart phone… can’t escape how the human race is changing all around them.
So buckle-up… looks like next 30 years… as the real internet kids grow up… the ones who have known it since their birth… grow and take charge of the world… for everyone, it’s going to be one interesting and crazy ride! 🙂
(c) Brian Parsons, July 2017