Saturday, April 7, 2012

Authenticity




Recently I've read several blogs--hmmmmm....perhaps I should qualify that as "blog-operas," that have left some interesting questions floating about.  The topic at hand?  Reality.

Tangible, tasteable, pungent reality.

Scene One: The Offense.  Random musings, memories or opinions that apparently clash with another's such stuff.

Scene Two: The Comment.  Sarcasm and contempt; snarkiness penned and then keyed and sent through the virtual mist.

Scene Three: DRAMA.  So the comment is commented upon and then the favor is returned and there is deletion and right on cue, enter another post guised as a ravishing rant spouting fountains about truth and reality...

Truth?  Reality?  Exactly how do we define such concepts in this vague and anonymous dimension?  Glowing text on a blackened screen stares blankly at me.  No face, no warmth, no pulse.  Who's there....on the other side of this electric box that keeps me company in the night?

How do I know you're real?  That your children are more than figments of a detailed imagination?  That the attractive face on your profile isn't a download from freepix.com?  And the poetry you post really isn't stolen from the journal of an ancient Aunt, long passed from this life?  How do I know?

I don't.

It's strange...this intangible world of words.  One might assume it to be harmless, yet it evidences not.  You need only to read the pained and angry sentiments glaring on the screen to catch the fragrance of raw human emotion.  How does a total stranger hurt us with their unattached perspective on our lives?  How do we open ourselves--at times with intimacy so deep and bloody, the gelatinous marrow of our souls pasted up for complete strangers to stumble upon and dissect.

What drives the dissected....what drives the dissector?  Loneliness?  Power?  The need to be heard?  Do we seek virtual relationships that are decidedly two dimensional, to escape the messy 3-D ones that leave endless cracker crumbs in our beds?  Our lives....our minds?

This is so clean.

Or is it?

The iron tang of betrayal is found on some screens, generous support and warmth on others.  Outrage and justification, hope and hilarity.  Loquacious dialog, patronizing prose...romance and treachery, beauty and lust.  If you could distill a human soul, remove it from the body with no physical manifestation at all, perhaps we'd find ourselves here, with a blinking cursor and a blank screen.

If our lives were nothing more than a compilation of our writing--comments and questions and stories; memories, dreams....fears.  What would your novel be titled?  Would your neighbors recognize it?  Your spouse...your children? 

Those that know the "real" you.

Blogland is amazing.  It's taught me much about myself.  Honesty about why I write....what I discover in these connections, how I've come to quite literally care about people that I'm not certain even exist. 

I think I've found it has more to do with me....than you.


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19 comments:

Shelly said...

This resonates deeply in my soul. The points you've touched upon today are things I've been turning over lately. Is what we read more an illusion than truth? Really kind of mindbending stuff to ponder.

Shea Goff said...

Love it all but especially that last line. Kudos, my virtual friend.

Robbie Grey said...

Such an interesting concept to contemplate. Meditating upon reality in the realms of the flesh is one thing, but online opens up a whole other can of worms.

FrankandMary said...

Mesmerizing things never keep promises. ~Mary

Lyndsay Wells said...

As always, you've written something that is not only beautiful but thought provoking. I wrestle with these questions right now as I embark on a new You Tube project - why does some random stranger have the power to to hurt me with the quick push of a button that says "dislike." And then you write "It is more about me" leaving me much to think about...

Happy Easter. xoxo

Mary said...

We don't know if the person we are reading is writing something for us to read that they themselves have written or if they have plucked it from somewhere else. You've given me something to think about. But we can't always know who's being real and who isn't and that's a chance we take being in the ethernet.

Lo said...

OOps....you have pushed one of my buttons and I must warn you that I may rant a bit and possibly hurt your feelings. If I do, I apologize in advance. I swear I do not mean to be perverse or argumentative.....I just don't quite agree with what I think you have said.

Oh, crap. Of course the blog people are real and expressing themselves. If anyone tried to paste together a mish mosh of someone else's words, thoughts and ideas it would be immediately obvious and totally unreadable.

Most of the thoughts expressed on blogs are more sincere and intimate.......the dialogues more rewarding and inspiring than most interactions with what you call real people.

I believe people blog to express their real selves (much easier to do in a blog than over a cup of coffee) and the blog provides a perfect way to do that without being interrupted by someone sitting across from you who isn't listening and can't wait to change the subject to something trivial.

I agree the entire idea of the blog world and cyberspace is mind boggling, tis true....but I somehow never doubt that there is a real person out there touching me deeply.

Lo said...

OOps....you have pushed one of my buttons and I must warn you that I may rant a bit and possibly hurt your feelings. If I do, I apologize in advance. I swear I do not mean to be perverse or argumentative.....I just don't quite agree with what I think you have said.

Oh, crap. Of course the blog people are real and expressing themselves. If anyone tried to paste together a mish mosh of someone else's words, thoughts and ideas it would be immediately obvious and totally unreadable.

Most of the thoughts expressed on blogs are more sincere and intimate.......the dialogues more rewarding and inspiring than most interactions with what you call real people.

I believe people blog to express their real selves (much easier to do in a blog than over a cup of coffee) and the blog provides a perfect way to do that without being interrupted by someone sitting across from you who isn't listening and can't wait to change the subject to something trivial.

I agree the entire idea of the blog world and cyberspace is mind boggling, tis true....but I somehow never doubt that there is a real person out there touching me deeply.

Chantel said...

Shelly--perhaps it comes down to what we prefer...illusion or truth? Is what is written truth?

Shea--honestly, the value of life is found in our own minds and hearts, isn't it?

Robbie--worms....indeed.

Mary--love the word 'mesmerizing' while in the same moment knowing its viscosity is so deceptive. *sigh* I do love to be mesmerized. So damn unfair.

Lyndsay--the anonymous opinion. Exactly my quandry...for without the validity of OWNING your words in a tangible way--are you responsible for them? When the whims of likes and dislikes paint the day? But then, as we voluntarily strip bare to be evaluated...do we have a real grasp on the value of that opinion. My love, the "real" assessments around you weigh so much more, right? But then....what is real?

Mary--perhaps it is just the content....not the person, that is most important? Does quality surpass integrity?

Lo--no apologies necessary as you encompass exactly my dilema. (and I changed my blog for you, adore you so) The content, the depth of thought and emotion--thus we enter what is truly "real." As you said, "I believe people blog to express their real selves" yet--as a society complete, why the hell is this necessary?? Why are their "real selves" NOT as easily expressed over coffee? Is this because as a whole we no longer tolerate truth (of course, all the while saying we are most inclusive) or we no longer have the balls to speak it? Do you LIVE the truth you speak here in the virtual world or is it swept under the rug of expectations and preconceived notions? I want desperately to believe every mind I find here that enthralls me is filling their immediate world with beauty and insight...is this naive of me?

Peaceful Warrior said...

Goodness. A whole host of debate.

When I first read this Chantel, I seriously thought (paranoid as I am)(concerned about hurting others) that you could have been reffering to something I am directly involved in. Or a matter of cyber oddity that I am struggling to understand and comprehend. You would have known about it as you are also involved/connected. (and by the way, I have already intuitively decided that you are a real person, who posts your own original work)
So too with the fabled commenter above, who is also spiritually connected with me.
So when a post was removed without any explanation I wondered if I, had said or done something to offend. That was not my intention, but there is only so much prostration you can do to appease the bloggers that take everything to heart. None the less I cared that my words were somehow misplaced or out of tune with the matter being discussed (as is this comment)
But, what I feel is important, is that my motives be pure and then let the rest decide.
Sure if someone puts up a post, they have got to expect some 'other' viewpoints will be raised. If they don't want to hear them, they should write them in a notebook and not on the interweb!!

I think that discussions are wonderful. even if some daft people feel it their right to slag others opinions off... Because only the daft will agree with them. People with half an ounce of sense and understanding will surely realise that, this is what makes the world go round. Individuality....
So please my friend,
Say what you want and let us say what we will in return, knowing that somewhere out there, your view is understood, and valued...

Loads of love and hugs.

P.W.

BamaTrav said...

I justt assume that everyone is a figment of my imagination.

Mandy_Fish said...

What a thought provoking post, and lyrical as usual. I love the flow and rhythm of your words, no matter what you're writing about. Sometimes I think the way you write is the closest reflection of how the synapses ebb and flow across our brains. At least that's how it sounds/feels in my head. Like oceanic currents moving across the (web) page.

Mr London Street said...

This is a fascinating post. I think some people blog to express who they really are, but I think the nature of online identity means that a lot of people also use a blog to reinvent themselves as the person they would like to be if they could start again from scratch. I have met quite a few bloggers in person and some are exactly as you'd hope they would be. A few are even nicer. But some are incredibly disappointing because they are faking it; not 100% faking it, because there is some glimmer of who they are in the personality they adopt online, but faking it none the less.

Mel Heth said...

I think I blog for me - as a way to document stories and give myself something to look back on - until someone says something mean. And then I realize it's not just about me. I respond to others' reactions and I feed off the positive reinforcement. I may be an addict. But I like to dole it out too. If ever I'm going to express an opinion that differs from the writer, I try to do it with respect. And I never go anonymous.

Thanks for making me think. :)

Mary: said...

Blogland IS
amazing. I have found a couple of true friends, quite by surprise I might add through this world. Some have been with me through the intense struggle of divorce, pain of transitions and the joy of new found love. One blog friend and spouse and Enrique and I met up in Oviedo on a trip to IKEA and had a most delightful visit. Another and his wife will be coming to stay with us in May. I mention this because these are real people behind the words on a page. Life has become so much richer for these and you, dear Chantel. I have never doubted your authenticity. Love from Astorga!

Chantel said...

Warrior--I agree that this is a discussion forum; I laughed at your "they should write them in a notebook" line. I personally am thrilled to have a chance to challenge my own assumptions and ideas--this is the foundation of evolution, is it not? And I love the word "daft"...

BamaTrav--lol, are the voices in your head telling you this?

Mandy--you have single-handidly made my day. Quite possibly the best compliment ever.

Mr. London--I find it tragic that the souls out there unhappy with who they are, play at re-invention here rather than tackling it in real life. I've only met a few bloggers and one was exactly as disappointing as you said. When change is a choice, and each day holds hundreds, our capacity to improve is endless. Unfortunately, the effort required is oft missing.

Mel--I remember writing something a ways back about benevolent vampires...how we do feed here, but in a friendly sort of way. :) Not all addictions are destructive, right?

Mary--I cherish your reassurance. There are certainly souls here that I have come to race to the screen hoping for a moment with, they enrich my life so. You are absolutely on that list...although I sometimes fret a bit over my attachment to them. What would I do should they disappear? And if they did, does that mean we really had a friendship? (I ask this as one I once quite adored, has been missing for months) It's a strange electric world of connections, this. xo

Pearl said...

I agree. People see what they want to see, disregarding indications to the contrary. I actually just got an e-mail from someone who believes I'm thinking of having an affair with their boyfriend. They got that from my blog. :-) I have to laugh...

Pearl

Slyde said...

Sarcasm and snarkiness?

That CAN'T be me, right? :)

Chantel said...

Pearl--yes, that makes total sense. Advertising you're about to have an affair to hundreds of readers will facilitate the subterfuge. Wth? Laugh, laugh away...

Slyde--oh NO, no sir. :)