A while back, I began reading The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had by Susan Wise Bauer. In the first chapter of the book, she talks about the importance of keeping a record of self-education- of writing down important ideas, truths, thoughts, or anything else that the self-educating person may want to remember.
She calls this record a “Journal of Self-Education” (that makes sense), and she compares it to something called a “Common-Place Book,” which was apparently a 19th and 20th century “...loose-leaf or bound blank book in which readers copied down quotes and snippets that they wanted to remember.” † Through out the last year I have thought about how this blog is essentially my “journal of self-education”- it’s just a 21st Century American version of the olden time common-place book. For, I pretty much post quotes, ideas, truths, thoughts, songs, sermons, sermon-jams, epiphanies (that’s a scary thought), links, and other forms of “mental fodder” that have been helpful to me in my walk with Christ. So in a way, my blog is my “journal of self-education”- it is my “common-place book.” Granted, it isn’t a loose-leaf or bound blank book, and anybody in the world can read it, add to it, comment on it, or think about what I post- but it is a record of “…quotes and snippets…” that I want to remember.
Anyways, as I thought about this recently- I was thinking that, in a way, Face-book, Twitter, Linked-In, and all the other modern social-media outlets that I use are kind of like the same thing. I don’t always think about my emails, my instant-messaging, my tweets, my linked-in account, and my news-feed- which, by the way, I always share with my husband (HINT, HINT) as my journal, at least not like the journal that I keep at my bedside and share my “deepest-secrets” with (joking). But, in essence that is what social media does- it records what really matters to me, who really matters to me, attitudes that I have had, and the beliefs that I hold to be true. Taken collectively, these accounts are, in reality, a running journal of my daily life.
So, it follows that if I want to do a self-inventory- get an honest look at what has mattered to me, who has mattered to me, and what I really believe- (and, not just what I tell myself that I believe) – I can review my social-media accounts. And, although I never intended to use social media as my “Journal of Self-Education”- in so doing- I might just find that I get quite an “Education about Myself.”
I suppose this could be true for all of us.
†Bauer, S. Wise, The Well- Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, INC., 2003. p. 35.