I need to be careful what I watch and pay attention to as a writer. If I spend too much time thinking and reading on a topic, I start seeing everything through that lens. I’m very interested in national politics, and it’s a very hard thing for me to turn the radio off and stop looking at my Twitter feed, but I know I need to break away from it at times. Immersing myself in any particular interest tends to put other things on my mind’s back-burner. It makes it hard to think in other directions and stifles my ability to think creatively. All my thoughts wind up in one box – it’s hard to write an original story from there.
One of the problems with SOCIAL MEDIA is that it tends to fire-hose your mind with whatever you’ve decided to follow, and there’s so much out there, it’s easy to start seeing everything through that prism. So if you’re one of those people focused on Man-Made Climate Change, your feed is dominated by the upcoming disaster, and if you’re focused on the movement’s belief’s, you tend to see all events as related to MMCC, even when they’re not.
Another problem is that we tend to only follow those we agree with, and so we only see one side of a given subject. That’s not bad, if the people or topics you are following are fact-driven. But most SOCIAL MEDIA is like a shoot-the-bull session around the water cooler, based more on opinion than fact, so you wind up taking a side in the argument, except in your SOCIAL circle there is NO argument, because most people aren’t following opposing view-points – they’re following like-minded people giving their OPINION of the opposing view-point.
You never really hear the other side – just them being mocked by your own.
Now, put some guardians at the SOCIAL MEDIA gate who are going to make things less confrontational by deciding who should and shouldn’t be heard. These are fallible human beings who are also immersed in their own viewpoints, and even when they rely on what they believe are rational algorithms to make the determination, the fact is the algorithms were written by fallible, opinionated human beings, too, and may give more credibility to their own beliefs.
Do we really want others to determine what we are allowed to talk about? AND what opinion will be allowed?
It’s not easy, but try not to let yourself become too focused on a single topic, or a single version of that topic. Keep your mind free. Take in as much as you can of what’s out there and learn what you can.
Talk with people you disagree with – civilly (hurling insults is a skill that doesn’t resolve anything) – and let your brain think and come to your own conclusions. You might wind up with a more realistic view of…REALITY.
The release weekend is over for “Breathing is Overrated”, one of my three Writers of the Future Honorable Mentions. Here’s the blurb:
Left to die in the abyss of space, Jansen finds something to live for – or it finds him.
“Breathing is Overrated” is a speculative fiction short story with a touch of light horror, and is available at several online retailers, including, but not limited to:
(Did I mention that this one earned an Honorable Mention in the Writers of the Future contest? Just saying…)
William Mangieri’s writing – including his many collections, such as The Next Three ‘Things I Could Get Out of My Mind’ – can be found in many places, including:
• Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/NoTimeToThink
• His Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008O8CBDY
• Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/william-mangieri?store=book&keyword=william+mangieri
• Createspace (if you prefer physical books): https://www.createspace.com/pub/simplesitesearch.search.do?sitesearch_query=william+mangieri&sitesearch_type=STORE
To CONNECT WITH HIM (and LIKE and FOLLOW), go to
• His site on WordPress: https://williammangieri.wordpress.com
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/NoTimeToThink
• His Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6893616.William_Mangieri
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri