Thursday, 10 September 2009

When I grow up I wanna be a cyberdolly!

I'm on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and YouTube. I've got a blog and a website, and five email addresses. I'm also a bit of a text fiend. But am I losing touch with reality?

Reality. Remember? Talking to other people face to face, or writing them a letter that folds into an envelope with stamp and mail? Getting your hands and knees dirty in the garden. Getting grass stains on your white trousers because you sat in the park at lunch...

Are we still real or are we turning into cyber versions of ourselves? Some people are getting a divorce on the grounds that their partner is in a "relationship" with someone else on one of those sites where you can create an alterego. How real is that? Is it that different from fantasising?

Where do we draw the line?

Maybe it's a question of balance. A friend of mine (she created the amazing set of my one woman show last year) just lost her entire email history for the last 10 years when her Yahoo account was deleted. Should so much of ourselves be invested in the ether, and entrusted to remote servers?

Well, it's convenient. Having a portable life that fits in your pocket. Everything is a click away. All your memories and experiences available at the click of a button or the swivel of the round thingy on the IPod. Life on the go. Life as take away.

Maybe some of the time. But do I want my life "to go" or do I want the option to sit for a leisurely 6 course meal without worrying about a restaurant's second sitting policy? Do I want finger food every day? Or would I like to use a knife and fork, chopsticks, and on special occasions those fancy fish knives and other exotic bits of cutlery that you find in a proper silverware set?

And that's not even counting gaming and other interactive pursuits.

Is the cyber version of ourselves enriching itself at the expense of our real selves? Does every minute spent on Twitter reduce our real life experience by the same amount?
What about all those "real time" applications? Is time real in cyberspace?

Who do I want to be? The imperfect one, made of flesh and blood, with all the limitations that entails, or the cyber version of me edited as I choose to present to the global internet community? What's a better sign of popularity: one real friend or 100 FaceBook friends?

What if people like cyber me more than real me?

In the meantime, I have an audition coming up for a French speaking part in a Polish bank commercial.

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