Credit: ecoscia

There are so many ways out there to stay connected — connected to our friends, connected to our family, connected to our peers, and connected to the world around us.

We use so many social media tools to stay connected, but we don’t realize the cost. And I’m not just talking about the privacy costs. I’m talking about our mindshare, too.

As the old saying goes: There’s no such thing as a free lunch.

Take books: the power of books is that we lend them our mindshare for prolonged periods of time. They allow us to become familiar with someone else’s ideas on an in-depth level. Without books, we’d have to travel to the author’s location, build a relationship with them, and get to know them and their ideas in our free time (i.e. when we’re not working or sleeping). And that would take years.

But a book lets us connect directly with their ideas, without all the fluff and bullsh*t. And why? Because when we’re reading, we’re lending out mindshare over to the author’s ideas.

This is also why writing is such a profound exercise. When we’re writing, we’re asking ourselves questions about what we observe, believe, and feel, and we’re answering them at the same time. We’re having a conversation with ourselves, and building a better understanding of what we think.

And that’s the cost of being wired: mindshare. When we’re wired, we’re like a marionette with dozens of people pulling our strings. Our minds are being pulled this way and that, and we’re not in control of our thought processes. We’re dipping our conscious into dozens of shallow pools at a time (through Twitter and Facebook and email), and never really diving into something deep. When we’re wired all the time, we’re p*ssing our mindshare away.

This is why it’s important that we unplug some of the time. We need some time alone to think things through. So when was the last time you were alone with your thoughts?

One thought on “Strings Attached

  1. I often find myself feeling like I’m missing something if I’m not on social media all the time. Like there’s some nugget of info that’s going to pass that will inspire, encourage or challenge me. But it’s like you say, it’s a shallow pool. For me, my escape is when I play with my 2 year old daughter and experience the world through her eyes. It somehow brings things into focus and makes it all simple again, allowing me to sift through my own thoughts without her throwing her ideas and opinions at me too…well not yet at least.

    Thanks for the reminder to dive into the deep end and take time to process on our own.

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