Over time I have come to the conclusion that we need a framework and a simple descriptive language to identify and discuss this problem. This is why I came up with the following dichotomy: expansive mode online content versus constrictive mode online content. The most salient distinction is that expansion mode is generally constructive, creative and perhaps uplifting. It grants a sense of expansion of the spirit, as if our boundaries are shifting outward and upward. The constriction mode of expression, conversely, is depressive, fearful, angry. In its essence it is mean-spirited.
The volume features ten written pieces on perhaps the most crucial “social” problem of our time: the internet and the crisis in meaning and sense-making. Each of the writers examines a slightly different aspect of the problem.
It is helpful to think of the E-Word of media and social media as the mass monkey mind. In meditative traditions, the “monkey mind” is the term used to describe your chattering, unchecked inner world, which (if I may mix my metaphors) has a tendency to wander about indiscriminately like a blind man stumbling along a crowded street without a walking stick. The blind man keeps bumping into people, either cursing them or apologizing frantically in order to deflect their anger, even as the other pedestrians apologize or curse him back. Because he cannot see, the blind man doesn’t realise that all the other pedestrians are equally as blind, and all without their canes.
Let me confide in you that I wouldn’t get out of bed either if I believed this story. But I just don’t believe it. I reckon it’s mostly bullshit, the nonsense of click-bait journalists and bloggers desperate to get the hits necessary to generate a bit of attention or income.
What you focus upon expands. When we look at the moon on the horizon, it seems huge. But if we take a photo of it, it appears tiny. The photo tells you the truth. The mind presents the distortion.