As a recent inductee into the world of Twitter and blogging, I am amazed and dismayed at the same time. We live in a time where we can communicate freely with others all over the world, and yet we do not know our own neighbor beside us. Now that we have the Internet , everyone in the civilized world is virtually attached to some sort of screen: T.V., computer, smart phone… With locked eyes, we are lurkers and spectators to life. We are watching the world go by us. With each introduction of a new device, we are in danger of a continuing estrangement with the people who are physically closest to us.
I keep seeing on the social media sites admittance that ‘IRL’, as posters like to say, they aren’t like how they are online. That’s fine as long as they actually have a real life. Then I see the word ‘YOLO’, an acronym for You Only Live Once. That should be freeing and empowering. But what I have seen is that it has been used to excuse a lot of very self-destructive and life-damaging behavior. People post photos of horrible acts, done in the name of ‘YOLO’. I fear to Google that phrase because of what I might find, writing that .I know I sound like a prim old lady.
But my point is this. We live in a polarizing and extreme society. There is overprotective, infantile behavior and then there is extreme exploitation. There is the ability to talk to people we never would have dreamed of talking to in the past. Yet, the chances of being ostracized and victimized have increased exponentially, both virtually and physically. As I write this, I realize that I have put myself out into the virtual world. I may or may not seem relevant. I may or may not be liked. I may or may not be accepted. But I accept that. There is no way of pleasing everyone and I can be only who I am.
In the past children roamed a little more freely and neighbors sat on porches. We were encouraged to socialize with the people around us. At times, we dealt with people and issues we didn’t want to. Maybe we were even more than a little, at times, in danger. But then, we had real lives. At the risk of sounding nostalgic and maybe a little ungrateful to the medium I’m using, I will tell you .I miss those times. So, I will not let these times stop me from having a real life.
- Be careful of Virtual World (mishraumesh.wordpress.com)