On the one hand, it was quite flattering. She was more interested in my response than what the experts have to say. However, it was also somewhat troubling. Did she just want the answers spoon-fed to her? Was it not important enough to her that she could do a little bit of legwork on her own? I bounced both of these around in my head for a few days, and then I realized that it is probably something else entirely. I doubt that she actually expected my answer to be qualitatively better than the experts. And I don't think that she was being intellectually lazy. I think she simply wanted to get the answer in "real life." She wanted to see what it looks like "in the flesh." What do I mean by that? I mean that sometimes we can experience a certain level of detachment from the things we read or watch, particularly online. I think she wanted to hear it from me because there was a measure of reality there that she feared she wouldn't be able to get from an article or book, no matter how profound it may be. Our culture has shifted, at least in small part, away from "just give me the facts," to "does this really work in real life?"
As someone who absolutely loves to read, blog, watch videos, and listen to podcasts, it would be easy for me to miss this important insight. After all, the primary mentors in my life are people that I have never met--authors, speakers, pastors, artists etc. Even so, there are times when I am talking one on one with someone or attending a conference, and there is just something different about it. I have said many times before that I would give just about any amount of money if I could just hang out with Ravi Zacharias for a year--become an apprentice of his. Sure, I can read his books (I have), listen to his podcasts (I do), and watch his videos (yep), but it would be something else entirely to spend that time with the man. The answers he would give to my questions might be exactly the same. They may not even be as well rehearsed, but I believe I would value them all the more. And I think that is what this lady was getting at.
So what am I saying? I am saying that the people in your life are much more likely to value what you have to say on important matters than someone to whom you might refer them via weblink or book. Not because your answers are qualitatively better. You may even be giving the same word-for-word answer that you have heard one of those experts give (that is the best that I can do). But they will be seeing it "in the flesh," and will know how it looks "in real life." So, I want to encourage you, if you are like me and you love to read, watch videos, etc, not to keep it to yourself. You don't need to stop doing those things. By no means! But don't fall into the trap of importing more (information) than you export. There are people all around you who would likely feel very detached from that guy who wrote the article or book that you love to much, but they would be very much open to hearing the same thing from you.