Monday, March 5, 2012

Day 5: Your Friends Know Your Phone Number

Think about your Facebook friends.  How many of them actually know your real phone number?  I added a Google Voice number to my page that friends only can see, but my real friends know that's not my REAL phone number.  My friends have been to my house, know where my "this is what you need if I get dead" box is located in case of an emergency and have met at least one member of my family beyond Laurel.  The rest of my Facebook friends are people I know, who also know me but only the me I choose to share publicly.  Which in my case, is what I have made a career out of doing.  I share me.  And I am authentic in that sharing, in person and on Facebook.  Those Facebook friends do not have my home number, but the ones I've reconnected with from the past do.  The ones who come over on Wednesdays for potluck do.  The ones who show up when showing up needs to be done do.  Now, that doesn't mean that the others who are my friends and on my friends list do not care, it just means that our interaction so far has been (to borrow a word from my cousin) hyperreal.  Pay close attention to the definition:

"Hyperreality is used in semiotics and postmodern philosophy to describe a hypothetical inability of consciousness to distinguish reality from a simulation of reality, especially in technologically advanced post-modern societies. Hyperreality is a way of characterizing what our consciousness defines as "real" in a world where a multitude of media can radically shape and filter an original event or experience."

I read a short story in Junior High where people had evolved to the point that they only used their minds and their bodies existed for the sole purpose of providing life support for the brain and consciousness to exist.  They didn't move, they sat linked mentally to their computers and had no physical activity.  (Thinking back, how did they procreate?  Somebody was moving somewhere, just sayin').  When I read that definition of hyperrealism, especially this part of it,  Hyperreality is a way of characterizing what our consciousness defines as "real" in a world where a multitude of media can radically shape and filter an original event or experience.  It really brings home that our minds are constantly creating.  When we give our minds an idea, it runs with it, as far as it can go and throws it as high as it can get and blows it up as big as it will become.  And we do that with everything.  

Now for some people that may be a great thing.  For people who lack impulse control that can be dangerous.  Everything gets a re-creation by the brain.  Everything gets magnified, amplified and personified.  Everything becomes everything.  And everything matters.  We sit at computers and weep reading a story that accompanies a photograph only to find out three minutes later when a pragmatic friend posts a Snopes link that the whole thing was a hoax.  We weep over untruths and then feel betrayed for being gullible.  We pass on links to missing children that end up untrue.  We spread death faster than the media. How disposable are we going to make lives?  What comes next when we mock the dead openly in public forums where their friends and families can read?   Everything becomes a post.  And every post becomes irrelevant as soon as the next post flies from our fingers.

I want more meaning in my life than this.  Don't you?  If you link to this blog on Facebook I will personally come kick your butt!


  1. Just linked it...I kid, I kid. Seriously, if you want some face to face interaction come on down :D I think it's a shame that something that can be a positive social experience is reduced to what you said above. I think facebook and other sites should be a way to check on those you care about in a convenient way and nothing more. I think you're searching for a part of yourself that got lost in a very busy life. It is good to recognize where you're putting too much energy and regroup. You don't necessarily have to throw the baby out with the bath water. Everything in disciplined moderation can be good. LOVE LOVE SISTERLY LOVE!

  2. Remember how you said you can't stand it when other people tell you what you should be doing? That's how I feel when other people tell me what they think I'm searching for. ;) I appreciate your perspective. For me, there are very few people I trust with my child. I don't do babysitters. That makes actually socializing in person with other grown up humans difficult for me and I know that I have leaned heavily on Facebook to meet that social need. Obviously, I've recognized that and I am seeking to lessen my dependence on Facebook with this exercise. I also am freeing my time so that I can focus my attention on learning my lines for the play I'm doing in May, redoing my demo and putting together a new voice-over promo packet with that new demo so i can shop my voice to bigger houses and agents. I do appreciate you taking time to write and I do love you. (And I'll keep my ideas about what you SHOULD do or your motivations for what you ARE doing to myself.) :p

    Lord help the mister.....who comes between me and my sister......