(I hereby by acknowledge that I am not immune from the trends expressed in the following post, I am very much a part of it and I have had my share of it too)
“Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts... A graphic representation of data abstracted from banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the non space of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding...” William Gibson -‘Neuromancer’ 1984
I was wondering how long will it take for the internet to reduce our senses into long forgotten artifacts. If the things shown in the movie “Surrogates” are indeed a glimpse into the future of how people go ‘online’ then that will not take long. If the pieces of forwarded garbage in my mail posing as wisdom and promises to evoke a smile from me are of any indication about our way of ‘keeping in touch’ then we are headed on the right track.
Heard the news recently about a Korean couple who ignored the hunger and cries of their first born to feed and nurture their online baby in a game. I think most of us are no different from them in ignoring. How many cries of love and attention from our family and physical friends are we ignoring in order to clarify the misunderstanding in the previous scrap or to show a lesson to that ignorant ‘faceless’ soul who dared to cross you in one of the discussion boards or forums.
When anonymity is the whispered alias of the web, Thanks to orkut & face book we now have proposals by ‘scrap’ and breakup messages on the ‘wall’ hardly a day or two apart. The wasteland of social networking is a place where gender reversals thrive and people are cheated and mocked on an hourly basis after pouring their hearts out to strangers. Mostly the victims are children or teenagers for whom it is beyond their understanding why a person should lie about or disguise their gender.
I wonder if some of the online couples knew before hand that how their lover smells, then they would be in haste to steer clear from him or her. The online lovers are deprived of or don’t care about the fact that how much the sense of touch and smell plays a part in love. Speaking of which reminds me of a scene from this movie ‘Demolition Man’ where Stallone comes back from a ‘cryo’ prison after 36 years and learns that the old way of life is gone. And he soon makes an old fashioned pass at the beautiful Sandra Bullock. She rebukes him and tells him in a disgusted voice “do you mean the exchange of bodily fluids? Nah! we don’t do that anymore”. She tells him to come closer and hold her hand and he does. Some kind of electrical pulses pass between their minds which is, according to her, akin to sexual intercourse. After a moment Stallone withdraws his hand and declares that he would rather do it the old way or never do it at all. Let us pray things like this will remain in the far fetched imagination of a screenwriter. As I write this how many people will be jerking off in different corners of the world by looking at their lover’s nudity (willingly provided ignoring the fact that if it can be viewed it can be recorded) on web cam?
I couldn’t understand for the life of me what is the reasoning behind sending electronic flowers and gifts. Now that I think about it I would rather like to hear the voice once in a while or a just a pat on the shoulder will be much more helpful than all the mails with friendship messages. In apartment studios where people live alone it is quite possible that they don’t know who lives above or below them. Only during the event of an emergency that it dawns upon many people that they are not that faceless, painless entity online anymore.