Facebook; MySpace; Friendster. It’s just networking. It sounds so friendly, so unassuming these places for entertainment where the social often meets the anti-social in a world with no boundaries, no countries, no people. It starts with a hum, an unassuming sound that lingers in the back of the room, the white noise that fills the space between your life, that fills the time when no one is around. It welcomes you and invites you in with no questions asked. You can speak volumes there but no one will listen. It doesn’t answer you – it doesn’t have to.
There are friends waiting for you, no matter the time of day. Friends from your past, friends from your present, friends you will never meet. Friends? Really? The connections are disconnected, the friends are strangers, the conversations are empty.
Yet beware because the danger is there. There is a false sense of believing that you can rely on this white noise, these emails, this new world disorder, this adrenalin rush that has created a populace completely lacking in social graces and naïve enough to believe that they are somehow protected because they are at home and it is just for fun.
You poke old classmates; reminisce with former colleagues; and chat with absolute strangers, these new “friends” you invite to your profile. You confess intimate details of your very soul, your interests, your hobbies shrouded by the anonymity of the blue screen and that hum, that lingering, nagging hum. It’s not loud but it’s there, listen carefully, it’s the emptiness of cyberspace that has consumed our lives and given us a false sense of fulfillment and even worse – a false sense of security. It is the wild west of the cyber frontier. It is the Tower of Babel of a new generation.
There are cyber-stalkers and pedophiles shrouded among the “friends” of these social watering holes. The dark mixes with the light. Yet, where is the lust, the passion, the twinkle in your eye, the glances shared only between lovers, the touches that give you goosebumps, the smiles shared just between friends? They are missing because they can’t possibly exist in this void. The very essence of human emotion, the breath of humanity, is gone.
So, turn off your computer for a week and see how many people call you. Sit with the silence and discover the voices again, the voices of your friends.