You’re never too old to stop learning, and the further me and my generation grow away from mandatory education, the more I see my peers searching for new ways to learn. New, FREE ways to learn, because as we know, further education nowadays is expensive. There are courses you can take for free, via websites such as Futurelearn, but the most popular way I have noticed lately for people to feed their hungry brains is by way of small projects that can be shared on Facebook statuses – this way, everyone can join in. Let me explain using my Facebook friends as examples…

I have one friend who posts a ‘Word of the Day’ on her Facebook status most days of the week, along with its definition. I have come to look forward to these snippets of new information. I like language and I don’t know nearly enough fancy words, despite being nearly 30, and a Blogger. People often comment on these statuses, appreciating, joking, using the new word in a sentence. To my mind, this is a much better use of Facebook statuses than the plethora of standard ‘FML”s and ‘OMG’s’ that fill up our news feeds on an hourly basis. Learning new words as well as their meaning, origins and contexts is something that can be done in a few minutes – a perfect pursuit during a 5 minute tea break – a little timeout in the midst of a busy, monotonous work day. Sharing the new knowledge with friends and family using a medium as instant as Facebook means that we can all take a minute to step outside of our own daily routines and give our brains something new to chew on. In bite size chunks. It’s a good thing, it’s definite brain food.

Brain Food
Brain food!

There are plenty other examples of this sort of thing. Another of my friends started a Facebook book club, with a twist. A challenge – we must all read 50 books in a year. A great idea to get us all injecting the art of reading back into our lives. The rules are simple – read books and discuss them online. The books can be anything, and e-books & e-readers count too of course. I don’t know about anyone else but I had become a bit of a slave to my iPad over the past year. A 20 minute break in my day would be given over to apps where before I would have had a book on the go. Being reminded of reading was a breath of fresh air, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be able to read and discuss literature without the constraints of a strict time frame or designated time and place. The great thing about Facebook is – you can dip in and out, post your contribution at any time during the day. Perfect for busy lives.

Nick Hornby, A Long Way Down
One of my 50 books for 2014

It’s easy to forget nowadays about things like leisure time, and learning, and hobbies. As I career towards my thirties, responsibilities take over and life gets only more and more packed out with long work hours and scrambling to fit everything into a day. It’s a breath of fresh, clean air for my crowded brain to know that I can log on to Facebook and be instantly inspired to learn something or take part in a project with friends. It’s also good to know that I can go at my own pace and work to my own schedule. So well done Facebook friends! Keep the mini education programmes and sharing of micro-hobbies coming! Maybe I’ll even be inspired to start my own Facebook status based learning project.

Do you have any similar examples to share?

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