1. Tell us something about yourself?
‘Free Your Mind and Think’ has two admins; one male and one female, who are also partners outside of Facebook. I am working on finishing my Master’s in social work and I have a deep passion for social services and helping people. My partner in crime she comes from an Art/ Makeup background. Members of the community often message us wanting to know who we are. The reason we don’t divulge too much of ourselves is because we never want the page to be about us. It’s about all the members of the community and how we all collaborate and learn from one another.
2. What does “Free your mind and think” represent?
FYM&T represents individuals who have stepped outside of the normal paradigms of thinking and who are evaluating all components of life. It is a place for everyone to share ideas and thoughts and have critical debates on every topic. From religion, to war, to music and books.
3. How did your idea of creating a Facebook page started?
FYM&T started out as a blog back in 2003. Then it went on to become from my perspective a moderately successful Myspace page. Yes everyone, I said Myspace! But when Myspace faded away and everyone started gravitating towards other social media outlets I kind of left that page behind. It wasn’t until May of 2011 that I started to bring the idea of FYM&T onto Facebook.
4. When you started your page your friends helped you or you did it by yourself?
It was mainly all me in the beginning, but I started to get some help from my partner after she came on board with me.
5. Why do we question every aspects of life?
First of all we don’t think we do enough questioning of our aspects in regards to everyday life. We believe we can all do a better job of reassessing our beliefs and ideals on a regular basis. It is important to question everything we been taught and indoctrinated with because to fully understand the universe and one another we must challenge our own ideals and virtues on a daily basis.
6. Is it possible for a common man to think free when we all know that everyone is facing lots of problems in daily life, which makes them mostly unconcerned of higher truths?
That is a wonderful question, and something that we ponder on quite often. Sometimes it sure does seem hypocritical of us to urge people to read, to think, and to question everything, because there are people in the world at this moment barely surviving and who are too busy trying to find a meal and provide for their family to think about such trivial matters. At the same time those of us who are privileged to live in developed countries can access books and resources and be able to think from the perspective of the less fortunate among us. Empathy and education can go a long way in solving the majority of the problems we face today in the world in my humble opinion.
7. What is the difference between free thinking and Atheism?
There is actually a big difference in between those two ideals. First of all just because you’re an Atheist doesn’t automatically mean you’re a free thinker. For me free thinking isn’t just a result of rejecting dogmatic principles. We will define free thinking by giving everyone a personal story in regards to FYM&T. Members of the community who have been with us from day one can see how much we have evolved in the way we think and perceive things. We used to be very blunt in the way we spoke out against the harms of religious indoctrination. We eventually learned that all that accomplished was another way of dividing people. The last thing we need in society is another divisive label that separates us from one another. What matters most in life are our commonalities and ideals that brings us closer together. Sure one can argue that dogmatic beliefs limit our potential as humans, but we are all so much more than those beliefs. We would hate to be judged upon merely for my beliefs or lack thereof, we would rather be judged by the content of our character and how much we do for others. We think it is a grave mistake to separate ourselves from others just because their beliefs don’t fit our ideals. The minute we do that is the moment we deviate from free thinking. Free thinking embodies compassion and kindness and working towards common goals so we can all live in a better world. This is the reason why we have strayed away from those posts that just highlight our differences. In the past few weeks we have added a new segment to the page called ‘This Week in Humanity’, where we highlight all the positive news of the week that involves people doing good just for the sake of goodness. That segment was inspired by Hashem Al-ghaili’s ‘This Week in Science’, which highlights the positives of human ingenuity on a weekly basis. Focusing on the good of humanity and the world is something the page will continue to focus on and gravitate towards.
8. You have thousands of followers on your page; do you run some kind of Facebook campaign to increase your likes, as mostly pages are doing it?
All the members of the community are there because they saw something that resonated with them and they began to follow the page. There are a few pages that we get our inspiration from that has helped us grow and we also work close with them. These pages include Sci-Tech, Hashem Al-ghaili’s Science and Nature Page, Upworthy, Choice & Truth, & Beware of Images. These pages have provided not only inspiration but also ideas and more members to the community. We have nothing but endless love and respect for them and hope to continue our collaborations and relationships for a long time.
9. You have any kind of financial benefit from your page?
None; we do get a lot of offers from people wanting to either purchase the page or to give us compensation for sharing their links or stories. To be honest that is something that we truly stay away from. We have kindly turned down those offers because we don’t ever want to compromise the content or the goal of the page. When money gets involved then the foundation of passionate ideals become shaky from my personal experience.
10. As your page is very active, have you ever tried to measure on how financial factors are influencing people’s thinking?
We haven’t done any personal researches in regards to FYM&T but yes financial factors are definitely influencing people’s ideals. Whether its mass media or social media, we are constantly being bombarded with advertisements that tell us how to think, feel, act, and what to buy.
11. Is there any kind of revolution happening on Facebook, How actually Facebook is affecting on revolutionizing in the world?
There is definitely a movement on Facebook that promotes people thinking outside of the conformities of their environments. That coupled with people being in touch with other people all over the world, it surely creates a connection. Through social media people are beginning to see how much they have in common with others all over the world. People are also beginning to connect and realize how much their governments are so much alike and don’t share the best interest of its people.
12. Is this generation of Facebook in advantage? We have more chance to find out the truth behind what the mainstream media is trying to falsificat and twist?
We definitely have the resources to gain a tremendous amount of knowledge and also have an advantage of connecting with people from all facets of life. And connecting with people can truly diminish the false perceptions media has given us of others. At the same time we also have to be careful because the power of social media also has created a lot of false information and movements that have ulterior motives. We need to make sure we check sources and find out the facts on our own.
13. What are the negative sides of Facebook according to you?
Facebook is garnered around stroking one’s ego and giving people attention. This is not always a negative thing, but at the same time it does disconnect us from daily human interactions. It’s amazing that we can connect with someone across the globe, at the same time how much are we disconnecting from out immediate environments? With everything else in life, you have to take the good with the bad and make sure there is a balance between social networking and the world that exists outside of your home. Another negative aspect of Facebook is actually a pet peeve of ours. We are seeing an alarming trend of content being posted that is not being fact checked and thoroughly researched. We think this is detrimental to the idea of sharing information and is the antithesis to progress and mental growth.
14. What is the role of social media in people’s opinion building?
It plays a huge role in how people think. Social media unfortunately has become a byproduct of mass media. There are millions of dollars put into advertising to capture our attention, time and commitment to certain social media outlets.
15. From where do you take your content for your page?
Content comes from many sources of inspiration. They include the few pages that we mentioned above that we work closely with and also Reddit and Imgur. The remainder of the content comes from books and documentaries that we come across on a daily basis.
16. There is an argument that there should be a check on social media, what is your take on it?
We don’t believe in censorship of ideas no matter how much we disagree with them. With that said, if there are harmful content being posted that can threaten people’s livelihood then certainly there are the proper avenues to take to limit that type of behavior. But overall ideas are what makes our minds evolve and thrive.
17. What is the main cause of your successful Facebook page? Do you see that as a sign that people actually care for knowledge and critical thinking?
The main cause of the page’s success is the people. They are the ones that continuously share and comment on posts. Without them the page wouldn’t even be relevant. The growth of the community is solely based on the contributions of all its members. With that said we truly do believe that there is a yearning or hunger out there that people possess for knowledge and critical thinking.
18. Where do you want to take your page?
The ultimate goal for FYM&T is to turn it into a non-profit organization or link with a NPO and give back to the community. We would love it if we can aid the homeless population in some capacity through the organization once it starts running. Day by day we are slowly getting a clearer vision of that goal.
19. How you spend your free time?
My free time is composed of reading, writing poetry, and creating content for FYM&T.
20. What is your message for your fans and readers?
First of all we wanted to thank you and Al-Rasub for reaching out and conducting this interview. Thank you for your time and we are honored. Our message to all the members of the community is to thank them for all their contributions to the page. We have truly learned a lot from all of you and that is the main point of this page and will continue to be so. We always tell the members of the community to never believe anything they read or see on FYM&T, unless they go and do their own research and find sources to back up the claim. If we all can learn to do that with every new idea or thought we come across then we will be all better for it.
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