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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