Welcome readers! If you followed me here from On Memory and Desire, welcome to Applied Psychoanalysis, where I plan on posting more of my thoughts and learnings on psychoanalysis, group relations, politics, and social justice.
Back when I started On Memory and Desire, which has the distinction of being possibly the world’s only youth-focused group relations blog, I looked around to see what I could see in the psychoanalysis/group relations blogosphere – assuming there was one.
It’s been a few years now, and while I have no data to support this, it seems to me that old-school blogging in general has declined. Personal blogging has been largely replaced by social media; much of the activist energy in blogging has moved to Tumblr, which is a hybrid between a blogging platform and a social network; large platforms like Buzzfeed and Gawker have taken over as content aggregators and curators. While even relatively minor blogs once had thriving comment sections discussing their posts, more and more sites have shut their comment sections down as the work maintaining them (i.e., preventing them from becoming toxic slimepits of hate and bigotry) has become too onerous; conversation has moved onto Facebook and Twitter.
This shift, where the formerly dominant blog format has been largely replaced by bite-sized social media updates on one hand and huge content aggregators/curators on the other, is hardly surprising. Indeed, a similar shift has taken place in pop music, where according to this article a song must contain a “hook” (a catchy or arresting musical moment) every seven seconds, because that’s apparently as long as anyone will listen to the radio for without changing the channel unless something interesting happens. This is not an age that has a lot of patience with long, slow-to-develop, complicated things.
And perhaps that’s OK (except the 7-second hook thing, it makes for terrible music). Ways of communicating and interacting constantly change in human societies; why should the internet be any different? But it is heartening to see that, going through the old On Memory and Desire blogroll, that quite a few of the blogs are still active and posting.
- Psychology Today’s “In Therapy” is still going strong;
- The Feminist Wire, as always, has a bunch of neat stuff from poetry to thoughtful reflections on “identity politics”;
- And Psychology Today’s “Just Listen” has a helpful primer on how Trump supporters can avoid PTSD!
If you’re in the mood for something more academic Larry Hirschhorn still updates “Learning From Experience”, if infrequently, and there’s also a fantastic blog called “Lacanticles” by Philip Boxer if you ever feel like tying your brain into knots trying to understand Lacan. So while a Google search of “group relations blog” still delivers little of relevance besides On Memory and Desire – in fact, if you put quotes around “group relations” OMAD is the first three results – it seems that for now, at least, there is still space online to talk about the things that don’t make it to the surface.
If the internet is a reflection of our collective unconscious – and I fail to see how it couldn’t be so – it is even more important, as we live more and more of our lives online, to find space to reflect on what it means to be a person with an inner life in an often cold and uncaring world.