Thoughts on Thoughtless Thinking


Several times throughout the day, a reoccurring thought invades my space of subconscious: 

"What was I just thinking? Was I thinking?"

The answer is, yes, of course I was. But what was it? I understand why we tune out sensory input, but how we tune out subconscious thought is baffling. However, I frequently find myself expressing this lack of unproductive thinking to the confusion of others. It's possible I'm just an abnormally forgetful person, which is not a far cry from the truth. Though, I doubt that is the main factor. 

By the way, my cinemagraphs will no longer autoplay, or freeze soon thereafter. If that's the case, just hover over the image to see if it's a video, and click the play button!

For some (apparently) odd reason, I have always been transfixed with the passing image outside the window of mobile transport. Rarely will you see me on my phone on transit, choosing the fleeting image of the outside from the inside. The familiar buzz of a notification, seldom urgent enough for me to switch my gaze, even if it's a time-is-of-the-essence situation. 


Sometimes I admire the contents of my window-screen, the somber swaying of the pines, or the melancholic grey of rural and rain pattered streets. Other times, I don't know what I'm doing. I can't recall what I thought, even as it's happening. Perhaps this is a sensory memory? Absorbing the shapes and colours of the outside; looking, but not seeing. Maybe I'm so encapsulated in "the moment" , I loose track of the moment prior?

Despite not knowing my thoughts, I feel refreshed at the idea of having a few moments to be alone, unthinking. We spend so many moments away from our physical selves to maintain our virtual visage. We are all guilty of this.

But, perhaps your social media really does reflect you and your personality, it is still a reflection of yourself, rather than your actual being. The smartphone, the platform of social media, it all exists as a medium for a person to express themselves. There's an extra step between you, and the "you" online, rendering a mask - or more appropriately, a filter. If you want to post, you have to select the image, click "next, edit the image (if it pleases you), click "next", create a caption, then click "post". When it's spelt out, it seems like quite the process. 


You might be thinking, 

"If we can't be who we think we are online, how to we retain authenticity? How do we express ourselves realistically?"

The truth is, I don't have the answer to that. So as far as I'm aware, the answer is: you can't. It is seemingly impossible to not hide behind the "you" online while maintaining a social media presence. In the grand scheme of things, our individual selves seem so minuscule, our virtual selves, even more so. It's important to take a few moments out of our day to become unthinking. Cleansed of the stress of deadlines, financial deficit, social maintenance, and all those cumbersome consequences of an urban lifestyle. Ironic to think this could be why I tune out on the bus, an everyday occurrence where I can look at the outside, from the inside. Myself, in a hunk of machinery, trying to get from A to B to make a punctual arrival while looking at one of the few spaces visually untouched by urbanization, the sky.

Gabby Chia1 Comment