Delete this post and read widely instead—not blog posts and partisan editorials and snide political memes. Do the reading that will sharpen critical thinking.
Purposeful thinking in which individuals systematically impose criteria and intellectual standards upon their thought.
Reading helps improve critical thinking. As does writing down your thoughts about what you read, arguing with the author on paper, scratching notes in the margins, journaling about what excites or upsets you on the page.
No books in the house? May I suggest one of these:
Order one or all. Or if money is an issue, turn off your laptop for the day and go to the library. Stay there.
I, myself, spend way too much time on the Internet. A great remedy to that is an app you can download at SelfControl.com.
We cannot reach a state of flow —”the mental state in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity” according to Wikipedia, i.e. complete absorption — if we’re grabbing our phone at every ping like Pavlov’s dogs and checking our email as if we’re expecting an invite from the Queen. If we’re too connected, we might not be enjoying anything.
Think of that. We may be missing the blanketing comfort of rain pelting the roof, or the escape of a well-told story, or we may be keeping our brains on a million short leashes, holding them just shy of very big thoughts.
If you haven’t deleted me yet, and you really are going to turn off your computer and read, I’d love to hear what book you’re heading for. Jot it down in the Comments, and then delete this blog post.