Monday, August 13, 2018

ASCII Reality

Can you imagine the world without text messaging or social media? Some of us don't have to imagine... we grew up without it. This isn't an ageist post, knocking young people or their proclivity for these things, it's more of a reflection on how the lack of instant communication may have made us appreciate human contact a little more, back then. Now, we're all just a few taps away from anyone and maybe we think that's real human contact.

Being just a click or tap away is deceiving. Body language is gone. You're not really in contact with that person... you're in contact with the preconception in your mind of who that person is. The few characters you see appearing on your screen don't give a full message, only a part. It's like that photoshop plugin filling in missing parts of an image. The mental picture you see is not really there; It's just auto-generated fill.

Maybe that's why, even with all this communication, you still find a lot of people are lonely. We fool ourselves with all the digital contact, trying to fill our social void that will never be filled with bits of data. Our bodies and minds know the difference.

Then again, this might be a complete misunderstanding and distortion of an instant communication marvel. Maybe it's better that people don't have to face the reality of the person on the other end. They can keep whatever image they want as real as they want, only rarely punctuating it with a few hours, here and there, of actual physical proximity.