my occasional musings on life, love, art, perfume ... what else is there?

6.19.2005

Disembodied: Thoughts on CyberRelationship


I remember reading science fiction about the evolution of man, in which man slowly, slowly outlives his need for a body. On this evolutive highway, man's physical entity becomes more and more attenuated ... and finally disappears altogether. Mind is all that remains.

I wonder if the WWW is one of our trips down that highway.

I find myself with three of my most valued relationships being conducted via email, phone and IM ... and many other important friendships conducted through a messageboard and my blog.

Of course I still am in solid form with Jim and Bucky (although, in light of my mood today, both would welcome a little less solidity, I'm certain.)

The downside of cyberrelationship is that very absence of physicality -- I can't hug those friends, they can't see my eyes, or weigh my tone of voice.

The upside is the freedom to be with these friends any time, all the time. Time and distance don't matter; our untethered minds connect.

Children today have never known a world without computers or an Internet. One wonders what advances their children will preside over ... and whether the body will have taken even more steps toward its own obsolescence.

Today's fragrance: Parfums DelRae Amoureuse with notes of tangerine, cardamom, tuberose, jasmine, ginger lily, cedar moss, sandalwood, honey. Light whiteflower for a warm day.

16 Comments:

Blogger Kate said...

Hey Doll, I'm visiting my friend in Seattle next week. Maybe you and I can meet IRL? Then I'll give you a real hug, rather than a cyberhug. :-) Page me on MUA if you want to.

1:34 PM

 
Blogger Urban Chick said...

true words indeed

these past two years i have had reason to search out websites for support on a variety of issues and through them i have made some real friends, a handful of whom i have met in the flesh (and rarely been disappointed)

the only thing i ponder, and it was a possible blogging topic, was whether, due to the WWW, we are able to track down many more like-minded people meaning that we are able to avoid those with different views

my point being that it is important to have our own views challenged now and again and i wonder whether this 'fragmentation' gives us less opportunity to do this

hope that makes some sense...

blogging, most of the lovely people i have come across, are thousands of miles away so i have very little hope of grabbing a coffee with them one day, yourself included, M!

:(

1:59 PM

 
Blogger katiedid said...

I love this line:
"Time and distance don't matter; our untethered minds connect." Beautifully expressed.

But I have the same problem with not being able to see someone's eyes or face. There are so many things we communicate most effectively with a flash of the eyes or subtle turn of facial expression that it makes it sad to not be able to talk to folks in person.

4:09 PM

 
Blogger katiedid said...

Ooops, forgot to add, you've found yet another cool picture that fits perfectly. You really have a good eye for these things.

4:10 PM

 
Blogger Tom & Icy said...

Plug in a mic and webcame and go on your IM and see and hear your friends. But still it's not the same as being there

6:30 PM

 
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Very interested in urban chick's comment about "like minded people", because I have had the opposite experience. Through a common interest in perfume, I have become friends with people with whom I have absolutely nothing else in common, and who I actually am polar opposites with in terms of political/religious views. I don't know if this actually challenges my own beliefs, since we mostly talk about perfume, but I think it does remind me to keep an open mind.

6:38 PM

 
Blogger AP3 said...

Nicely put. Yes, our bodies have become unnecessary and inconvenient in many ways, haven't they?

6:50 PM

 
Blogger Tan Lucy Pez said...

Enjoyed this. Very well written.

7:07 PM

 
Blogger thc said...

I have found that we often write things in comments on blogs that we'd never say to a person in real life. Sometimes that's good, sometimes it isn't.

7:18 PM

 
Blogger Canadian Dude said...

Interesting stuff.

Cheers!

7:37 PM

 
Anonymous neko said...

Ha! How timely. On our weekly phone discussion I made the mistake of mentioning that I'd been seeing a lot of my aunt lately on the internet. My mother, never the technology enthusiast, was taken aback and just had to know HOW was I able to see my aunt?

This simple comment turned into 30 minutes of hard and heavy explaination of what "blogging" is and how exactly one "posts" a comment. Don't be mistaken, my mother is not an acient woman... she just missed out on the internet loop. Perhaps if she had a passion for fragrance...

That said, I've actually become better friends with people I knew in real life because of the internet. While aformentioned aunt was always a favorite at family gatherings and her care packages greedily looked forward to, I never really got to know her until I moved to Japan. Since my only link home was through the computer it was those that were most e-friendly who I communicated with. My aunt, always eager to interact online, spent a lot of time pounding out regular e-mails and through which I got to know her on a much deeper level.

I've also used the internet to make connection with travelers or while traveling. My husband and I have hosted quite a few people that we met on the internet. When moving here I even found a place to crash via internet forum. So yes internet is good, but we may still have some use for our bodies yet.

8:00 PM

 
Anonymous janey said...

I've been thinking of on line relationships too lately. I've met lots of great people on line who have been tremendously helpful and supportive. But in the back of my mind is always the thought they were are total strangers. And it has nothing to do with computers. There are people I've known for years who don't really know me at all. We put faces on to people, sometimes it's a disguise, sometimes it just another layer of who are. We do it in person and we do it on the internet. It takes time and effort to know people, to get through the layers to the real person and that's hard enough to do in person let alone in the few minutes we spend on line. Don't get me wrong - I value the friends I've made on line, but we don't really know each and we have to be careful about and I think I'm rambling here. Hope I didn't offend anyone by this (or loose any on line friends). I think I'll just go and draw Mr. Purple now. It's a nice color really.

8:01 PM

 
Anonymous janey said...

Hey stranger, it may not be in the store, but I just might be in your mailbox.

8:11 PM

 
Blogger Atreau said...

Another downside is when friends leave the communities we've formed, you wonder from time to time where they've gone and hope all is well.

9:18 PM

 
Blogger BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

Very beautifully put, M.

The computer is a machine, but most of us, myself included, see its mechanics in human form, which allows us to read into words and feel emotions many times. This can be positive, or not so, as I saw on the MUA, where many lessons were learned about the power of the written word, and the presense or absence of emotions.

That being said, I still miss the old fashioned letter.

Enjoy the day...Cyper hugs to you and Bucky.

6:12 AM

 
Blogger Kyahgirl said...

This is an excellent topic, one I ponder upon quite frequently. In these last couple of years I've woven quite a few shimmery, unearthly cyber threads into the tapestry of my life. I know those feelings are real but still I yearn to touch my cyber friends IRL.

Its fascinating actually to consider the possibilities of the internet. I envision us eventually like the Borg, all plugged in to the collective. Hopefully we will still have the will to think independendently, to disagree, to laugh, and fight with the strength of our differences.
The alternative is quite frightening.

7:55 AM

 

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