It’s late in the year 2014 and while I am writing these words I feel connected with a large crowd of people all over the world. Not in the sense of the word, there is actually no one next to me, there is no open chat window on my main monitor and my land-line went silent many months ago.
I once bathed myself in social networks and accounts of all sorts. I collected likes and comments as well as contributions to all the things I posted and I enjoyed it for a while. Positive feedback can be rare sometimes and there is an innate craving in all of us for a pong after the initial ping in our communications. Some people told me what they thought and I liked the exchanges at first. It’s refreshing to think about someone anonymous on the internet being moved by stuff you create. You instantly idealize these unknown characters and begin to automatically assume how their lifes must work and feel. It’s quite easy to fall into this trap and just ignore that there are underlying forces driving them to do what they do and say what they say.
All this thinking came to a shrieking halt when comments from one person changed in tone and began to get more personal. A “how are you doing?” here and a “where are u from?” later and I began to slowly grasp the need for connection beyond the commenting and casual likes. I forgot that I am transmitting something of myself out into the world full of people whose motives I will never know and can therefore not anticipate in any way.
I sometimes imagine myself standing in the public transportation. I imagine myself taking an envelope out of my bag and putting on a blindfold. I start in a very loud voice to comment verbally on every picture that I take out of the envelope. I just shout “great moment!” or “yolo!” and I never wait for any reactions of the other passengers around me. Instead I just begin to walk outside the bus station right into traffic still blindfolded I proclaim that I have written a short story that I will now read aloud just from memory to about 300 or more cars just standing around me after I have blocked the main street traffic altogether. I imagine my voice to be transferred not only by the forces of my body but rather every stereo, every mobile and screen to just switch on and broadcast each and every sentence coming from my mind. It’s not enough. I need this to be on 24/7 all around the world every and any device should be filled with my soul, my immediate thoughts, actions and unfiltered ideas. I should be everywhere and nobody should be able to object in any way. Even better people should be greatful for the opportunity to listen and witness a free spirit of great magnitude. At least that's what I am projecting into myself and unto myself, right?
It’s amazing to ponder the possibilities these days. I guess this can only be matched by the even greater follies produced in the same instance. To think that people or anyone could and would be interested to hear any of my ingenious moments is quite weird. To think that people could get pissed and angry, would shut me off and ignore me alltogether is a thought that has not crossed my mind in any way. I think of the silent ones as basically non-existent. As long as they keep their distance and do not comment in any negative way.
So what exactly is this magical piece of paper I am writing on right now? What if this is electrical paper that is connected and maintained by a pulse and a frequency measured in Hertz? A medium that is as far away from any human experience as can be. What if this paper is sent to no person in particular. How would that even work? I guess we could compare this to a note scratched into the bark of a tree somewhere deep in a forest. Or maybe one of these messages in a bottle moving across oceans and crossing language barriers? I guess not. While all these messages got carriers like the bark and the water, this paper right here is not following any of that logic at all. The message can be read here by several individuals. The message will stay in its place as long as the electric grid keeps the servers operational and the data storage keeps it’s integrity…