As a millennial who grew up in a rapidly changing world, I've come to appreciate my general knowledge background for a number of reasons.
Why Is General Knowledge Beneficial?
What is the importance of general knowledge? It stretches way beyond knowing the answers to trivia questions and quizzes. Being up-to-date on current affairs and basic knowledge in a variety of subjects and can make you a more sociable and successful person.
From students to professionals to business owners to homemakers to retirees, this applies to virtually everyone in all walks of life. Here are 12 reasons why having a solid general knowledge background is an important facet of your development that will help you succeed at home, at work, online, and in your social life.
1. Starting Conversations Will Be Easier
Holding a conversation with a friend, colleague, acquaintance or stranger may be difficult if you don't share common interests. General knowledge and current affairs are instant conversation starters and can help you move past typically awkward moments of silence. Whether during an important professional meeting or a first date with a romantic interest, being familiar with common concepts and basic information will help you navigate the conversation confidently.
Being up-to-date will save you from weird situations when neither you nor someone else has anything to say. Your conversational boundaries will extend far beyond your core areas of interest. This will allow you to engage in meaningful conversation with virtually anyone.
2. You'll Get Better Grades at School and Work
Whether you're working on a long, dull essay for school, preparing for an upcoming debate, or putting together a presentation for work, a solid grasp of general knowledge will make your task easier. You'll have more examples to pull from and have a better sense of the interconnectedness of different concepts and ideas.
If your knowledge both within and beyond the task at hand is tip top, you'll be able to stand out from the crowd and make a good impression. The same goes for current affairs. Both students in school and employees in the workplace are expected to know what is making the world go round. A high level of general knowledge will passively yet directly affect your grades in school, your marks on competitive exams, and your performance at work.
3. You'll Be Able to Make More Informed Decisions
The importance of general knowledge and current affairs goes far beyond being able to come up with answers or start conversations. General knowledge makes you street-smart and helps you make well-informed decisions. For example, being up-to-date on fiscal policies can help you make a profitable investment, and knowing all about consumer rights can help you demand better service from a company.
4. Your Knowledge Will Impress Others
Did you think that your rockin' bod is all it will take to win over your crush? Good body language is definitely one of the core elements required to impress anyone, but physical characteristics may be useless if you don't know what to talk about or how to engage someone in meaningful conversation.
If you want to impress someone who is a movie buff, knowledge about cult-classic films will take you a long way. If you want to win over your interviewer while seeking a job, being armed with some background information about the industry and the economy might just tip the scales in your favor.
5. You'll Be Prepared to Help Your Children Succeed in School
What example will you set if your child comes to you with a simple question about science or language and you are left clueless? As a parent, it is (or will be) important for you to have a solid grasp on the basics of commons subjects so you can impart the same to your kids. If you stay current with the latest trends as well, you'll be better able to keep up with your child's worldview and state of mind in addition to being able to help them with projects and homework.
6. Interacting With People From Different Backgrounds Will be Easier
There is a reason why things like knowing the capital cities of various countries, being able to identify their positions on a world map, and knowing about their cultures are given importance in school curricula. General knowledge about countries, regions, religions, cultures, and geography helps children get perspective about the world and the people who live in it.
Cultural and geographical knowledge play pivotal roles in a day and age where most cities are thriving multicultural hubs. For example, a college student who reads National Geographic regularly may end up being a more effective employee in a multicultural workforce than a student who only reads Hollywood gossip magazines.
7. It'll Be Easier to Keep up With the Latest Trends
Not only does general knowledge have multiple practical uses, but it can also make you trendier. Current affairs are an integral part of the general-knowledge domain, and skimming through magazines, newsletters, and websites can keep you updated on the latest trends.
Being trend-intelligent involves being up-to-date with the latest in fashion, media, products, technology, music, and all of the other things that keep you bubbly and youthful. In 2013, for example, this would mean having seen the viral video for PSY's Gangnam Style, knowing how to spot a Tesla electric vehicle on the road, and keeping up to date with the Syrian Civil War.
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8. Your Sense of Humor Will Be More Refined
Having a good sense of humor is much easier if you have good observational skills and some basic knowledge on a variety of subjects. Armed with a wealth of information, you will be able to crack a joke or play a pun easily. Weaving a fact or two into a satire of a situation you're in demonstrates both humor and intelligence.
9. Forming Opinions Will Be Easier
Opining is not always about telling someone what you think or whether you like or dislike something. It involves the subtleties of making an informed choice and taking positions on complicated issues.
Even the art of avoiding giving an opinion and beating around the bush is made easier with a good grasp of general knowledge. Knowing your stuff allows you to know what you are being asked, decide what you are going to say, and figure out how to intelligently avoid doing something that you don't want to do.
10. Public Speaking Will Be Easier
The importance of general knowledge percolates deeper than just being able to be a good conversationalist. A strong command of language combined with knowledge about a variety of subjects and current affairs will help you get rid of the fear of public speaking, as you will no longer be worried about filling long pauses and gaps.
From being able to speak about an interesting subject to developing a rapport with an audience, general knowledge is a speaker's best friend. Being armed with a well-rounded understanding of basic concepts will boost your confidence both before and during a public speech.
11. You'll Be More Creative and Innovative
Academic curricula alone may not be enough to make you stand out in a crowd. Everyone learns the same things in school, so what makes people different from each other is the extra knowledge they accumulate and what they do with it. By expanding your knowledge with research, reading, and visual media, you'll be able to combine ideas, cross-reference concepts, and come up with original thoughts that can actually make an impact.
12. Your Quest for Knowledge Will Be a Rewarding Hobby
When was the last time you were bored? Everyone gets bored, and everyone needs a hobby. Why not make learning yours? Your quest for general knowledge will make you look forward to just picking up a newspaper, book, or a magazine and spending hour after hour reading.
Things that once seemed boring will become enjoyable and help you pass the time. The habit of soaking in general knowledge will keep you busy observing your surroundings, communicating with others, and going through news websites, papers, magazines, films, and just about anything in sight that can serve as food for your brain. There are few things in life that can be habit-forming, harmless, fun, and useful at the same time, but learning is one of them.
Zach on May 06, 2020:
Thank you, this article helped me a lot
SARA from Islamabad on April 07, 2019:
Yeah absolutely true. I love reading and writing. Be an avid reader and quest for hidden truths of nature.
Anon on December 18, 2018:
I think it's also important to look at the most basic of general knowledge - such as ethics and knowledge on currency and infrastructure. Without such knowledge we wouldn't be able to live another day, and society would pretty much be an anarchy
John Smith from New York on August 12, 2018:
Great view, thanks for the list!
DON BALDERAS on November 19, 2012:
This shows one's interest in anything. We live with it, and everyday, we encounter a doze of information keeping it full of simple and complex realities. Life is great we can welcome information for practicality and productivity.