Given enough lag in keeping up, I sensed this blog might eventually turn into a journal of sorts. It’s what happens when I lose focus (ie, the overarching theme of this site!).
But this post could serve as a bookmark of sorts. A moment captured to look back at as a pivot point. Because the edge I find myself on involves clearly seeing B.S.M. and A.S.M.
Before social media. After social media.
A word started to float to the top of my morning journals, it’s the word serving as the title of this post.
Being hit with the sensation of life and thought patterns before social media was an initial wake up call, a validation of all the literature I am consuming regarding digital hijacking of the mind. It hit hard especially due to romanticizing my life prior to social media. But even when I control for the tendency to wax poetic the past, I found myself shocked at a cursory inventory of not only what I thought and engaged about, but how I thought and how I engaged in the past.
And all I want to do now is recapture this cognitive focus. The internet is bountiful enough to distract and knock us all off course. This article in The Atlantic from 2008 is evidence enough. The author described their inability to read long form blogs because of the internet’s constant hum and determination to have us skip around from topic to topic, link to link, never finishing the multiple paragraph long form read from….The Atlantic.
This was 2008, the toddler years of social media. It hadn’t become an obnoxious ranting teenager yet.
What paused me to jot this post down was re-reading a favorite book of mine, Searching For God Knows What by author Donald Miller. I like to check dates all the time now, a way to contextualize what it is I am encountering and to attempt to set myself back in the time when the form of media was created.
Copyright, 2004 on the inside of this book.
This struck me because it was basically the birth year of social media. And the ideas Miller expounds upon in the book are ideas someone would have to have been lost in their thoughts for a while and wrestled over, bounced off friends, researched in all sorts of literature.
In other words, I was struck with the wonderful tapestry of ideas Miller was addressing, and much more so, the mechanics behind attempting to piece his ideas together.
I can’t help but think of the word now, recapture.
There is a way my mind works similarly to what Miller, and why not just say all authors of all books, does in order to write and communicate at all in the first place. This ability allows for the gathering and piecing together of ideas and information, seemingly unrelated, in order to produce something worth writing about and communicating.
And I want to recapture this. Because all it took was a re-read of something launched just prior to our distraction economy’s golden egg, social media.
I want to recapture what it is like to ignore gossip.
I want to recapture what it is like to read something, ponder it, talk it over with a friend, dig into more literature about it, formulate and test a hypothesis, and do so while not switching from meme generating platform to the next.
I want to recapture what made me and Andrew Sullivan a human.