Forming Thoughts in an Age of Instant Connections

Every day, I always felt the urge to write, but what to write is the seemingly insurmountable part of this craving. I’m pretty sure any writer or blogger experiences the struggle of being unable to write it down.

Anyhow, a topic dawned upon me in the middle of experiencing a dry throat and impending fever this morning:

What’s on your mind?” Facebook or Twitter would always ask as we’re about to tweet or make a post.

Years may have passed since I first encountered her books, but Sherry Turkle‘s studies on the impact of technology in the self and society still continue to intrigue me. While she did point out that we’re losing that little space of solitude that we actually require to know ourselves in-depth, there is an element that (I think) becomes eroded in instant messaging: prolonged thought formation – or at least, the one we go through as we used to take our time writing letters. I remember old movies having montage of a character writing, with a pile of scratch papers flooding his room. Nowadays, whenever we’re notified that we’ve received a message, we are faced with the task of coming up with a reply immediately, lest the message render thinks we’re ignoring her.

I’m not saying that instant messaging is vile in itself, or that we should return to sending each other replies through snail mail, but could our brains be restructured in such a way that we form thoughts instantly, without going through it, ruminating over its implications, before we hit send, submit, or publish? Letters used to be treated as the window to one’s inner world, tragedies and reflections (think Vincent van Gogh, Beethoven, and even John Lennon). I’m afraid that because we’re always connected, we never really think through what we say: we could have said more, but this will do. We’re too angry/excited/sad to care about something that we just post our thoughts anyway.

What we think we’d like to see it published on the web, eager to know the reactions or thoughts of other people who’ll see our post. I just don’t want us to regret whatever it is we type or share online because we’re so accustomed to our social media accounts being an extension of our mind, a megaphone of all sorts.

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