Welcome to Unreality

Before you sits the Unreality Box. It is not a Box of Lies, nor is it a Box of Appearances. What it presents to you very much exists, is very much within your grasp, but is not reality. For so long as you remain before the Unreality Box, the real will always be beyond your reach.

I do not wish to simple denigrate the internet, nor recount the usual suspects of how it is ruining our society. The number of good things brought about by the technographic revolution are almost endless, not least of which is the fact that these words can reach from one Washington to the Other, from the Lilac City to the Eternal City. But it is too young and we have not yet learned how to live with it.

Perhaps the greatest unsung challenge of the internet is the question of its Unreality. What I mean by this is that the internet provides one access to an enormous amount of visual and auditory medium (other senses to be added as approved) but it does not provide access to the things themselves. One can spend hours embracing pictures of snowfall without stepping outside, hours listening to stories without hearing another person, hours studying beauty without brushing near.

Internet has advantages on reality: there is a practically limitless supply of new experiences (truly limitless if you consider that content is being added at a far faster rate than it could ever be observed), the option to instantly vanish from any uncomfortable situation, and a almost complete absence of consequences. Thus I can look all about Mt. Rainer with no danger of being trapped in a blizzard and, should I find the view blase{?} I can suddenly find myself watching a tiny kitten fall into a box (with out risk of scratches or being forced to clean up a litter box). And when that falls flat there are always picture of famous pretty people to stir my low-budget substitution for an imagination.

These advantages (one should note that their virtue is born out of a culture of ease and experience) make it absurdly easy to come to live on the internet. It even permits me a false version of communication (not to say real communication cannot occur on the internet, but comment and Facebook rarely count). Here before the Box I am constantly bombarded by things that trigger ‘Reality’ in my brain while being everything but. No matter how many times I look at mountains I have not climbed one, no matter how many dinners I see I have not shared ones, no matter how many lips I observe I have not kissed one.

The internet is, like any technology, a terrible blessing or a wonderful curse. Too often those of us who belong to the technographic generation fail to see the dangers until we have been swallowed by the Un-world, lost sight of the stars, and forgotten the taste of strawberries. We no longer realize that there are things out there, beyond the Box, which fulfill our wonders. We are confused and until we stand up, push away the box, step outside, and breath, climb a mountain, hear a story, hug a friend, we shall remain lost, falling slowly, inexorably, into a loneliness that is a but a breath above death.

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One Response to Welcome to Unreality

  1. egoodrich244 says:

    Very thought provoking, I am curious about your further thoughts on the matter. Ha, sort of ironic to be using this medium to “connect” with another human. Your ideas seem to raise some very engaging topics. Hopefully I will be reading more from you in the near future.

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