Friday, 25 March 2011

Does The Internet Preclude Intimacy?

It seems to me that the internet reinforces the perception that everyone else is superior to us. This fosters an anxiety that leads us to disagree with others almost on principle. Everyone on the internet appears to be a super star. Arguably, it is impossible to participate online without creating a “persona”, deprived of the harsher, less desirable aspects of a human life. This persona will inevitably appear to be superior to the human that it originated from.
We are all creating alter egos, or rather “super egos” of our everyday selves. A being that is superior to us because we can control its presentation to the utmost detail. The effect of this? Preclusion of intimacy, which in turn translates into the inevitable inability to form relationships that will be strong enough to fight for change. Also competition; ruthless competition. If all we see of others is only the nice bits, bits that they have constructed out of thin air for the purpose of appearing before others in a much more favourable light, then we will be more likely to see each other as inferior to everyone else. And we will want to be better. In a world where millions have to compete with millions for the spotlight, we will inevitably want to see others as “not as good as” ourselves. In the case of political environments, it tends to be “not as right as” or even “not as righteous as” me.
The internet hasn’t eliminated hierarchy, nor has it democratized it. It has merely based it on a popularity contest.
We have re-designed ourselves to appear more perfect, more “God like”. But this is an illusion. Gods control reality, they don’t invent a new reality that they can have control over. While we withdraw from a world where we have increasingly less and less control and crawl into a world where we can alter “reality” much more easily, where the acquisition of status and glory is within our reach, the people who ultimately control the physical world carry on unimpeded. And one day they will prevent us from having control over the online world as well, just as they did with the real, physical world. And then we will be in trouble.

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