Medium of the Singular Mind: Fake Places, Distributed Selves, Real People

We are collectively on a quest for something “real” in a thoroughly market-contrived world.  This quest takes us into “unreal” places.

These unreal places actually only exist somewhere in our minds and imaginations.   There is no one physical Facebook “place” we all gather.  It is a digital commons.  But what it is, where it is, the experience of it is entirely of my own mind and your own mind.

Although these virtual channels have intrinsic “social” characteristics, they are in fact the “media of the singular mind.”

This singular mind/ singular experience  is a concept we have to deeply embrace in our modern engagement strategies.  

It isn’t enough to simply “know about” a medium or how to “implement it.”  To be successful with it we have to navigate a deep understanding of the interplay of the medium with the person who participates with it.

In other words, the features contained within the medium dictate our social behaviors, who is participating within it, how we value it as well as our singular experience within it.

Every widely embraced medium springs from what is going on within the society.  From that medium a culture emerges which flows back into the society at large, shaping it; changing it.

The web, social media and virtuality.  Each of these media is changing our lives and therefore each is changing us.  They are changing our language, and therefore the way we think.  They are changing our world and our views of it and how we operate in it.

People flow among their media – their channels and places – at the speed of neurons. People are “liquid” because they ebb and flow among them and between the “real” and “virtual” seamlessly. The preferred technologies come and go.

So, that leaves the virtual persona – “the avatar”  – as the only nexus. They  are the personification that operates in “unreal” spaces. The avatar is the only true constant. They “reside” in the spaces between the body and the mind – in the singular experience. 

The only way to connect with them is through the experience, the interplay of the medium with the person.

Focusing on the medium – the platforms or the technology or the tool – as a tactic completely bypasses its greater value to you and those you wish engage.  The value is to flow with the avatar (person) and connect through the experience they carry with them.

Our job is to get to know these liquid beings – not to grab their attention. Or their “likes.”  Or to channel “content.” Our job is to develop principles and strategies by which we flow with them; to provide meaning and usefulness to them within their flow and in and around their very real unreal spaces.

photo credit: Galatea Zabelin

Categories: Essays, Liquid Beings

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