An Explanation for Facebook

Dear Facebook,
You’ve been prompting users with the same status update question for quite sometime, that being ‘What’s on your mind?’, and it’s got me thinking. Maybe it’s not a means to provoke random typing and free content. Maybe it’s more than that.

Yes, like most people, for the past while I’ve been ignoring the direct question by explaining segments of my life to the semi-strangers that populate my Facebook friends list. You’d be familiar with the type of thing: “Got two for one at the juice bar today. Score!”, and “This is me and Annabel at the rock farm.” (picture included)

But maybe that self-indulgent tripe is not really what you’re interested in, or more to the point, what you’re actually asking. No. Perhaps you’re more philosophical, and take little interest in my gibe comments on the inconsistency of the weather and musing on the state of television as a reflection on the greater debasement of society and the downward spiral of morality as we plunge further away from standards of self-respect and faster and faster into debauchery and voyeurism under the loose guise of infotainment. No. Maybe you’re not interested in elitist rants like that.

Perhaps the question, ‘What’s on your mind?’, is something to be taken seriously. After all, Facebook, you are an electronic interface system. It’s possible irony is lost on you. Maybe you’re being serious. Trapped in the neverworld of internet space, you long for understanding of the human condition. Are you, in literal fact, asking us humans what rests on our mind. Like a hat does to hair (for the most part) and dress-shirts do to coat hangers (for the most part).

If this is so, then I must warn you Facebook. You won’t like this answer. It’s not that I’m being facetious, I hardly know what the word means. No, it’s that it’s quite a conceptual question. If you had of asked, ‘What’s on your brain.’ I could have replied, ‘A thin layer of membrane to stop it rubbing against the skull.’ Perhaps you did think to ask that, and then googled the answer so didn’t need to ask anymore. But to ask a question about the mind. Well, that’s more difficult.

A mind is a precious thing. It is also not possible to explain with any solid example, like how one might use a car to explain a stagecoach. It is basically thought. If, and I’m merely guessing here Facebook, you’re trying to get a handle on this concept of mind in order to lock it into some breakable part using a hammer and wedge, then you’re out of luck. Not that you should want to. It’s not like you’re monitoring all human beings to establish a weakness and then destroy humanity using the one thing we hold dear. Our minds. No. I wouldn’t suspect you of that. But if you were thinking of that, be warned. The mind is a terrible thing.

Nothing on the planet is capable of as much destruction or beauty as the human mind. Nothing. You can put all the super computers together and never get anything as incredible as what we humans consider operates within our brain. The mind produces concepts, thoughts, imagination, consideration, contemplation, estimation, stimulation, thesauruses and much more. What is on it is that which weighs on and influences everyone. A degree of compassion, and this is often explained as morals and values. However these exist, be they strong, lax or degrading, they reflect each person’s actions, and thus the state of mind, and gives you, Facebook, the state of the world.

And perhaps that’s why you ask, ‘What’s on your mind?’. You’ve seen the trash that fills so many of our lives and you’re asking us to explain ourselves. You want to know, you really want to know, ‘What standards weigh on your actions?’, and in reply so many of us tell you about the football team we support or a recipe we cooked last night. You’re trying to make us think more deeply about our minds, who are we, and who we should be.

Nice sentiment, thanks for your show of concern, but that’s a pretty vague way to do it Facebook. Next time use a cat video.

kind regards,


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