Of course, I’m always curious to know what might be in my email account or Facebook feed, but it’s important to set that aside and attend to my Blog first. If only because my Blog is MINE, something I treasure and cherish as within my own control and parameters, whereas emails and social media immediately throw me into a turmoil of fast-moving dialogues with lots of people I really don’t know all that well, even if I like (and ‘Like’) them in the way you can when using social media.
When Facebook began, it used a few clever devices to build itself up into a global phenomenon. One was the way it wowed us with its new level of connectivity, even though its premise was pretty simple and banal, and encouraged us to contact others and draw us all into its own particular web or net. The other way that Facebook got us all hooked into using it was just four little words ‘What’s On Your Mind?’.
These words sound a little like the words a doctor, a counsellor, a psychiatrist, psychologist or psycho-analyst might say, but now they were emitting from an algorithm and a blue & white page on a screen. It was, again, a very simple device, but as well know now, very effective indeed in cajoling us to ‘input data’ about our lives, and even intimacies of our own lives.
Now, what ‘mind’ is exactly, remains a bit of a mystery to me. I have a fat reference book on my shelves called ‘The … Companion To The Mind’ and it treats ‘the mind’ sometimes as philosophy, sometimes science or medicine.
Even children wonder where and what ‘mind’ or ‘the mind’ might be, though I’m sure there are professionals out there who would readily clear this mystery up for me, I think it would still persist as a mystery, a kind of necessary mystery for me.
To me ‘mind’ is something embodied, a kind of awareness that can be aware that I am thinking, dreaming or speaking but which is none of these things. It can know I have a brain, but I think or know that it is not my brain.
Mind might be spirit, but then spirit is an ‘unscientific’ term (perhaps another ‘necessary mystery’) and yet, I feel mind is more embodied than spirit and that it has as much to do with feeling and feelings as with something immaterial.
Anyway, these are child-ish, or adolescent thoughts perhaps, but I’m trying, as usual with my Blog, to honestly transmit ‘what’s on my mind’. But as I write that I can see, not only am I trying to achieve something different to Mark Zuckerberg but that ‘what’s on my mind’ is, here at least, quite directly embroiled with writing, writing itself, so that, I might say, my keyboard (or ‘writing’ or language) is also ‘mind’ or ‘my mind’.
On the other hand, if I am in conversation with someone, it seems as though we become each other’s mind. And if I go out walking on my own and start getting interesting in something so that I start ‘taking’ photographs of it, then I start to see and think and feel in a different, photographic way, and so again, an adjacent technology becomes a kind of prosthesis or extension of mind, or my mind.
Facebook no-longer needs to ask, ‘What’s on your mind?’ We know what it expects of us and we perhaps give it much more than what is on our mind. In fact, probably a reversal has happened so that Facebook has become and/or now determines ‘what’s on our mind’.
So, all I can say here is that I’m using the Blog (which is really a slightly less voracious form of social media) to write ‘what’s on my mind’ while at least trying to also think about and question what that might mean, and hope that, thorough that thinking and questioning, I might just be able to retain or maintain something that is precious to myself, and to my ideals of humanity.
But now, like you, I guess I must just go and check my …