One of the weird casualties of the 21st century is that insignificant little phrase, “I don’t know.” Think about it! When was the last time you heard anybody say “I don’t know”? It’s been awhile, right? We don’t say “I don’t know” anymore because, in actual fact, we do know – literally everything. It’s called a smart phone, and it puts all of us within a couple of swipes of the knowledge of the universe. Unfortunately, this minor adjustment in the way we use our language has had a major impact on our society.
Personally, I lament the loss of “I don’t know.” Back in the day, “I don’t know” helped us gracefully escape from all kinds of situations.
The strange guy on the street who smelled like dirty feet – (before Google Maps)
“Hey, dude, I think I’ve got, like, aliens following me. Do you know where the cop shop is so I can report them?”
Solution — “I don’t know”– and a quick walk the other way.
The boring girl at the party – (before IMDb)
“Who was that guy? You know– that guy. He was in that movie with Liam Neeson where he shoots all those people? You know– him. It was before he was famous. He has those pretty eyes. I can see him. And, and he was in that other movie– you know, the one with what’s-her-name. You know the guy?
Solution — “I don’t know”– and move on to the shrimp dip.
Aunt Myra’s problem with her antique bathroom – (before YouTube)
“When your uncle was alive, he used to take care of these things. I know I still have the tools somewhere. It’s probably just plugged under the sink.”
Solution — “I don’t know anything about plumbing, auntie. Sorry.”
The friend who wants you to help him move – (before Android Calendar)
“Come on, man! I gotta be out by the end of the month, or she’s going to throw all my stuff off the balcony. Please, please, please tell me you can give me a hand on Saturday?
Solution – “I don’t know. I’ll have to go home and check.”
It’s sad, but without the cushion of “I don’t know,” all of us are now saddled with a lot more responsibility, and I’m pretty sure Steve Jobs didn’t think about that back in 2005.