is it really all in the numbers?

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There seems a relatively new phenomena in our media to describe things through the medium of numbers. Newspaper articles are written around small colour panels, gleefully pronouncing ‘In numbers…’; these are summaries to draw in those who seemingly cannot be bothered to read and understand the depth of the article. It’s as if by providing a statistic, plucked from the vast expanse of a complicated subject, we can understand. Examples in the newspaper today include…

422 million people have diabetes;
1 in 5 people say social media makes them depressed;
124 refugees were taken to Turkey from Lesbos yesterday;

It mirrors the growth in need to know small snippets of many people’s lives in social media – glimpses on Facebook, 144 characters on Twitter. We are time poor, so we’re told, and so we need to pack a lot in. Scan rather then delve. Skim rather than comprehend.

The world seems to have developed into a place of ‘know a little, about a lot’.

This crosses over into what we know about ourselves.  Small amounts of knowledge used as labels to describe extraordinarily complex unique human beings. “I’m a completer finisher”, “my type is INTP”,  “I’m a big picture person”…

Let’s start reading the entire article.  Let’s start taking a deep dive into who we are.  Let’s be curious about other people and their glorious uniqueness…

You are not just a number.

 

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