Maybe you've never considered "learning" as a possible addiction, but here I am to suggest the contrary. "Addiction is a brain disease," Alan I. Leshner, PhD. said back in 1997. He was considering the chemistry of the brain as it related to addiction, but I believe there are many more ways to look at such a statement, one of them being the way you process information. For example, there are some of us who coast in life, just bouncing off the ropes a bit, because there's an inherent sense of knowledge.
Some people like to refer to such individuals as "old spirits" because they either know everything, literally, or because they have a basic understanding of what to do in life. "New spirits" are often seen as inferior or somewhat ignorant individuals. These people tend to question everything and always flash a curious eye. In my opinion, the stigma around new spirits (and/or "souls" as I think of it now) is completely erroneous and arbitrary at best. People who want to know more, might have a real advantage in life, but on the other hand, they might have a limiting addiction.
1. What is known becomes what is lame.
The aforementioned quote from Half a Dozen Monkeys is definitely something of interest. While the site focuses mostly around technology and work life, the notion of learning's irony is one of the best exemplars of a learning addiction.
Admittedly, my 3 points aren't the only qualifications for a learning addiction, but I think they definitely point in the right direction (no pun intended?). For this one, we're talking about always wanting to learn more, and then becoming bored in life once we know too much.
For example, let's think about the said work life. Some people, who are addicted to learning new things, will hop on a job and love it . . . until they learn too much. Then they feel dishonest, belittled, or just plain bored. It's always good to know more stuff, but sometimes the quest for knowledge results in a lack of experience. For the sake of the example, if you switch jobs a lot because they all become too easy, you're not likely to move up in the ranks.
If you find you're so ravenous for knowledge you rarely feel motivated to use what you've learned, you might be addicting to learning. While a good thing, we can see here how wanting to know too much is detrimental. Of course, I'm not going to let anyone really believe ignorance is bliss.
2. Ignorance isn't bliss.
3. Time well spent.
This might be the most important characteristic of someone who is addicted to learning. I'm going to refer you to myself for this one (hey, it's my blog).
I have this strange sensation whenever I'm trying to go out into the world. Whenever I'm lounging somewhere, boondoggling, and so on, I'm always itching to write, read, or play guitar. I feel as though any time wasted, could've been time I used for productivity.
The constant urge to learn more and improve oneself is a clear-cut sign you might like learning a bit too much. But like all the other signs before this one, it's not necessarily a bad thing. In terms of your social life, you might be screwed. However, a well-educated individual is a good thing. A well-educated individual who continues to expand their horizons is even greater. It's important to actually stick with something, but it's equally important to keep learning. If you're showing all 3 symptoms, you're probably addicted to learning and are using multiple browsers while reading this blog post. Don't worry, though, you're in good company.
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