Can you Find your Mind?

…amongst the mental chatter…

Travel Trilogy, Part II

While our electronic devices can be made to be a relatively quiet and individual activity, when used as social outlets they can fill our minds with all manner of chaos and drama at worst. And at best, just a whole bunch of info that is irrelevant to our lives. I don’t think that is why people do social media, out of utter loneliness or boredom. No one’s head could be either that full of channels that need to be changed, or complete emptiness.

I guess the kind way to say it would be “entertainment”.

beachWhile on vacation, I read that I may be a blend of those with whom I spend the most time, and it occurred to me that I was reading it on a device.

While I like my devices, and admit that I probably couldn’t go back very well to telegrams, cb radios, rotary phones, phone booths, phone cards, rabbit ears or typewriters – much less dial up internet – I realized how much ELSE was on that device.

Are you giving out space in your head to people that will only exist in your life online?

When you close your eyes, do you divide up the matter in your mental space in tabs?

toesNot that that’s a terrible thing. I have been experimenting for years with tabs in my head as a way to compartmentalize the information I want on hand mentally. While the 5-10 people closest to me, thankfully, are the most immediate influences on who I am, there are many more who inspire and must be kept track of.

Many of mine are self-employed, entrepreneurial spirits who are creative – of all flavors.

There are success stories about relationships that don’t start in real life, but there are also straight up imaginary friends. If they are good listeners, good for you. That’s probably not the majority, unless you have already been through everything this article is discussing.

If you have, consider yourself obliged to comment below and add to this movement to help others free their minds.

[In case you missed Part I of the Trilogy: Pursuing the Prodigiously Empty Mind]

Social or Anti-Social Media

Ok, Facebook wins…hands down. If the internet is ultimately a macrocosm of every thought in everyone’s head that you ever crossed paths with in real life or not, all at the same time, Facebook is the poster child. Yup, it is that odd psychological phenomenon that the Mayans and I am sure many other ‘more connected than us’ civilizations lived and died in fear of.

How much more irrelevant noise can your head stand? Remember Emmett from the LEGO movie? We fill our heads with what people’s kids, dogs, neighbors, in laws, or Facebook friends are doing, and we haven’t ever stood in the same room with many or most of them. It’s a potential breeding ground for irrelevant drama.

2014-01-28 08.20.27Listen to your mind as your scroll your social media news feeds. If your mind is texting you something like “OMG this is so interesting”, then you are where you want to be. Equally good chance your mind is guiding your fingers to the little dropdown button in the corner that says: “You know what, I just don’t need to see this.” This can be a good move. I don’t think anyone has put out a long term study yet on the long term effects of over exposure to too much information in social media. On a relative scale, it is too new.

Our devices run out of space and get low batteries.

So do our heads. Our heads are not easily upgradeable or replaceable, so maintenance is key. In order to empty it, you must be able to first find your mind.

I’ll be honest, my tolerance for mental chatter (and certainly drama) has declined as I’ve aged. When I tire of seeing or hearing about something repetitively, if it is not something that carries some value or meaning for my life, it really should go. When it is something that resonates for me, I must seek more. Good examples of this would be the writers, artists and musicians I enjoy following. It’s like the rule of cleaning out your closet…if you haven’t worn it in the past year, let it go.

This is a tough balance to strike because I have made some lasting and mutually beneficial friendships through online reach and networking. When online networking catalyzes real life relationships, that can be a powerful thing. And I have done considerable amounts of mutually beneficial business with people that I have met initially not in person. There is lasting value in that, because when we help each other to succeed, our chances of having vacations to pursue more mental clarity increase, and more mental clarity is the point of this manifesto, which is essentially your life.

If your life is not your own story, shut down your devices now and go on vacation immediately.

Coming Soon…So, I went on Vacation.


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