Who ARE You?*
A couple of weeks ago, I read this on a message board I frequent and it stuck with me:
"This is cyberspace - there are no identities -there are keystrokes -and this is not my real life, nor is it anyone else's - (unless they have no real life). Nothing can happen HERE that affects me, or my real life - *member's name* is only a created identity - that I could kill off tomorrow and nothing in my life would have changed."
That board is a wonderful place that I have really enjoyed. I made what I think are authentic friends there ... and the people I have come to know are truthful with me, I think, as I am with them -- about who we are and why we're there.
Maybe it's the nature of the board -- it's about perfume rather than sex, for instance (yes, yes there could be a philosophical discussion here but let's not) -- but I choose to believe that most of the people there are real about themselves. There's a lot of warm exchange between these people, and I think it goes past keystrokes and created identities. In fact, that idea kind of hurt me AND creeped me out.
That you can put on and take off who you are in cyberspace. And that there's no cost to that, emotional or otherwise.
I don't believe it. I think we carry our humanity wherever we go, and that we can form real relationships here that can have breath and tangibility IRL. I know this is true.
We carry the usual human responsibilities (compassion, tolerance) with us into cyberspace relationships. (And I'm not just talking about the various act of kindness packages I owe, owe, owe my dearest cyberfriends.)
*"ooh, ooh; ooh, ooh" from The Who, CSI themesong. There, Jim.
Today's fragrance: L'Occitane Eau des 4 Reines. The perfume's story is as good as the scent: named for the four king-marrying daughters of the Count of Forcalquier, thus the perfume of the Four Queens and their favorite roses, Grasse, Turkish, Bulgarian and Moroccan. It's a rich rose, uncomplicated by other notes, very easy to wear. Reminiscent of Keiko Mecheri Damascena.