Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Avatars, Cyborgs, and Intellectual Imposters

Social Media Disease #3

A Billion Neos?

In The Matrix, before he takes his waking pill Mr. Anderson assumes his known existence is real; that what he perceives as “he” is, in fact, him. Once so rudely extracted from his Duracell pod, however, Neo learns that he was in fact experiencing life inside a virtual reality; a digital projection of himself inside a computer simulated world: the Matrix. His entire existence was as a digital avatar; a rendition of of himself where everything, his hair, clothes, all of it, was a virtual manifestation how he wanted to appear in his world.

This isn’t far from the character hundreds of millions have created to represent themselves online. From OK Cupid to, of course, Facebook, our digital “brand” all too often has little connection to the physical existence; the flesh and blood human being securely encased, hidden, and safely protected from prying judgmental eyes inside the Pod of Reality.