Facebook: Where Actual You Meets Virtual You

Pretty hard lately to know when you’re seeing and experiencing the actual thing. Versus the virtual thing. Or is there really any longer any difference between the two? On Facebook the two meet, interact, overlap, often become one and the same.

Consider how we use Facebook on-line to do almost the same things we do in-life. Project our image, flash our talents, hide our blemishes, search out people with whom we can share, maybe pitch a few of our best thoughts, sometimes annoy or be annoyed, and occasionally get rebuffed as in “deleted.” Sounds pretty much like my actual 9-to-5 world.

There are, though, some who fret about Facebook and security. As if there actually is any virtual security left. Come on folks, anyone who knows how, can already find out who, how, where, when and why you exist. This capacity is the tip of an iceberg known as cyber-marketing and cyber-warfare. Take comfort in the fact neither of us is probably that important to anyone else.

Perhaps Facebook is just one more step in the evolution of human ingenuity to extend ourselves. Say like the way the hammer and the pistol extend our hands; radio and television extend our speech; and our kids and grandkids help extend us.

Here’s another way of looking at it. Some believers believe immortality not as a place but as being remembered by those who survive us. Working from that belief, anyone of us who has left behind our words, music, art or handiwork has thereby become immortal in the minds and hearts of those left to care. From Homer, Shakespeare and Bach, to Jefferson, FDR and Sheila.

Who’s Sheila…? Look close in Tom Cruise’s breakout movie “Risky Business.” Tom has of course become immortalized on those reels of celluloid. But in one classic scene, my actress friend Sheila has achieved the very same status. She is the school nurse where Tom is sent after a skirmish. Without a single line of dialog, her quizzical reactions to his plight have already become immortal in the minds of anyone who’s seen the film.

Whenever I see it, I think of all the ways in which you and I are being captured in these digital days. Why it’s virtually impossible for any of us not to actually become immortal…!

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  • Yes Jack ... that seems to be the upshot of all this digital derring-do ... we are all trying to confirm Warhol in his base assumption ... yet for my 'Garden Variety' existance I hold warmer the thought of loved ones departed who are in my heart and mind ... Immortallity of the digital dominion will likely be shunted aside by some nebulous EMP in the relatively near future ... and then we will have to start all over again scratching in ochre on the walls of a cave - should we be so fortunate!

  • In reply to Geezer:

    You pretty much nail it, Geezer. The immortality of love will surely supercede anything the digital dominion can provide. Next you have to wonder if it would be different if we could see playbacks of Moses on the Mountain and Jesus on the Cross. I defer to you

  • Is this all about virtual actuality or actual virtuality? BTW what is EMP?

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Aquinas ~ now that you put it that way, I think the only answer is: Yes! EMP I leave to the Geezer to answer...

  • Aquinas the EMP is either a natural or man made Electro Magnetic Pulse .... We have had solar generated ones knock out whole power grids ... The military has said that they can be generated by low yield fission/fusion explosions ... whether they would is yet to be seen ... but then again ... one never knows!

    I am 'virtually' aghast at what I read on the www ... I've obviously lived a sheltered life ....

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