My connection to the virtual community grows worse. Why?
Taroudant- I am no longer the person I used to be.
The technological innovation has changed my life. Say, I am totally different person. I didn’t have any intention to write this article. But I feel that my fingertips are itching, and I can’t help but scratch them. Worse, I have to touch the keyboard to do so. I am a slave to the computer–more precisely, to the internet.
My blind devotion to the internet has started only recently. My misery started the day I moved to a new place. I moved from a very sociable place where I was enjoying close friendly relationships with people of my own blood to a place where everything seemed strange and hostile. Consequently, my connection to the virtual community grows worse.
Although overpopulated, my new town seems stagnant. The days are short and quiet. The nights are deadly long, still and have a serene sky with hardly any stars. Such a big difference from before! Around them the dying, pale moon blocks the eye.
I have been worried by a bunch of stereotypes and prejudices about this new town and its people. Consequently, I was not in a good mood, nor ready to enter any new circle of acquaintances. I walked to and from the shops mostly alone, seldom with my wife, and only, then, whenever she got bored of the four corners and the different silly TV series. I hardly find any free time for real people and for practicing my hobbies–although much of it is free, the Internet increasingly consumes more of it.
Moreover, My guitar is kept in a corner, and I rarely touch it. Exercise is absent in my new life, except those few stairs I have to walk twice a day.
I feel attached mentally and physically more to the virtual world than to the real world where I live. You can’t imagine how sad I felt the whole day when I learned that one of my Facebook friends, whom I’ve never met, had lost one of his close relatives. Some people may find this weird, but when your real and virtual existences are so complexly interwoven, it scarcely makes any difference. To be frank, I do care for the ”Likes”, shares, posts and comments as much as I do for shaking hands, kisses on the cheek, hugs and smiles.
Facebook, Twitter, Google etc.., have made me a different person. Whenever I see something beautiful or attractive in the real world, I just wish it had a LIKE button to click, as in Facebook. The other day, my wife and I were invited to dinner at my colleague’s house. When I took a mouthpiece from the Tagine that his wife served us, it tasted so delicious that I unconsciously was looking for the LIKE button to express my satisfaction and gratitude. It is not out of my ignorance to those conventions and friendly expressions we ought to say in such occasions, but icons, symbols and language of the virtual world have overwhelmingly occupied my thought so much lately that this was the most natural response to have risen in me automatically.
I have in my Facebook and Google accounts friends that outnumber the “real” ones that I frequently meet. However, can we consider all those people that we have in our accounts, friends? Why do we accept or send invitations to people we don’t know? Maybe it is because the virtual world has norms totally different to that of the real world. The difficulty is when the two become blurred.
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