At what point do we become what we plug ourselves into?
I worry about us sometimes. I'm talking about the human race. I see so many people these days -- in my mind -- sitting in front of their computers, imagining they have friends all over the world. They wake in the morning, they talk to their friends. They go to work, they still talk to their friends. They come home from work, they don't even take their clothes off -- they're talking to their friends. Is it a bad thing? Of course not. It's always good to have friends. But... are they really real?
There is a feeling that has no name when you discover that the person you thought you loved so much turns out to be of a different sex, a different weight, a different dress size, pant size, nothing is right -- and how can anyone have brown hair who has no hair? These embarrassing moments are what make online relationships so risky. Perhaps people get hooked on the endorphins, on the risk of getting involved, of trading secrets, and being intimate through typing.
I have often thought that if you really look at a person who’s sitting in front of computer you will see a perfect picture of a person doing absolutely nothing -- save for an occasional tap with his finger. It's frightening. Watch yourself. Put your video on and watch. Put up a mirror -- I know it's old-fashioned -- but look at yourself. Sitting there. Relating in a relationship.
These observations are not intended to dismiss, disrespect or diminish in any way healthy online relationships, and I'm sure there are many such friendships that have bloomed under the tree of truth that is sometimes the product of partial anonymity.
My only purpose here is to remind folks like, well, like me, that real relationships, face to face relationships, can never be supplanted by anything virtual. Real relationships involve all five senses, six if you include typing. Keeping it real requires some walking around sometimes. Anyway, it's springtime. Take out the earbuds. You're missing the birds. Unplug! And ring up a flesher.