Where minds meet

I have a book called Where Minds Meet by Kathleen Kelley Reardon. I must admit that I haven’t read the book properly but I like the title (but now when I googled her and found her blog, I had to bookmark it, because she has some interesting things to say – read it!). Where do minds meet? When? How? I think it’s a blessing to meet a person that I can connect with in that special way that makes me feel like our minds have meet. That is something more than just exchanging polite words.

It’s a moment of light to find that another person is thinking about subjects in a way that is similar to your own way of thinking of those subjects – similar, but not a copy. The beauty is that the other one’s thoughts fit with your own thoughts and together they can build a new, better and stronger thought.

When another person’s thoughts can help me to understand a subject better and hopefully that I can ”pay” with giving back some of my thoughts. Exchanging thoughts.

I am in the process of writing my second book and one of the things I love about writing a book is that it gives me the opportunity to get in touch with anyone to ask questions. Well, I’m writing a book, ain’t I? So, I contact a lot of different persons, sometimes I get answers, sometimes I don’t, but when I get answers it’s a happy feeling and especially when I feel like the answer is really adding a piece of important information. Then I feel very humble about the situation – someone actually allowed me to use a glimpse from their mind in my book.

At other times I find something in a book that I can use. Then I haven’t got the exclusive feeling of meeting the author’s mind, but even so, the action of writing a book is always the authors way to show a piece of her or his mind. ”Here, read it, use it” and I think most of the authors also think ”use it and make me proud”, because it’s when someone actually adopts your thoughts that your book can make a difference and when that happens, I, as an author, get proud.

The book I’m writing right now is called ”The Good Chatter in social media” or, at the moment I’m actually writing on the first edition, the Swedish edition that’s called ”Det Goda Tramset i sociala medier”. I write it together with professor Niklas Myhr who is teaching social media at Chapman University, Orange County, California. We met in the summer 2011 at Almedalen Week on Gotland. It didn’t take long until our minds connected but it took half a year until we decided to write a book. Now, a year later, we are about to finish that book. As soon as we have the Swedish version ready, we will translate it to English.

Social media is very much about getting minds to meet. I don’t think that every comment or interaction is a meeting of minds, but now and then it happens and it gives good energy. I can talk about the benefits of social media, how to get new connections, how to develop your relationships, the access to news and information, the support and so on but the most precious moments in my interactions on social media is when minds meet. The rest of the result of my investments in relationships are good and make me happy too, but I think that the reason to why I keep on being active in social media are a lot about those moments when minds meet and one thing that makes it so special is that on social media I might get that connection with my neighbor or with someone I never met face to face from another part of the world.

When that happens I also start to think about the place they live in and suddenly that place have at least one inhabitant that I know, which makes a huge difference for my perception of that place. I remember thirty years ago when I did some research in Uppsala asking people about immigrants and it was so amazing to hear how they talked about immigrants like an ”anonymous group” to which they added preconceptions. When I asked ”do you know any immigrant?” they often looked surprised and said something like ”eh, no, not really, well, I mean, I do know xxxx but he’s not really an immigrant, he’s more like a Swede…”. It was like every immigrant they thought of as someone they knew was an exception from the preconceptions about immigrants.

When you learn to know someone you replace preconceptions with individual information about that person. Until you learn to know someone from a special place or with a special interest or special job you base your evaluation on preconceptions because that’s all you got. The more we know about different persons from different places with different jobs or interests, the less preconceptions.

When I think about social media like this I feel like social media has a great potential for planting the idea of peace in people’s mind. The peace movement Israel Loves Iran is one example of how social media can be used to give people a feeling of being connected with each other across the borders. But every time you and I connect it means something too. The world gets a little bit more familiar and friendly.

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