Originally published at "The Views Paper"
A person goes to a two hour movie to get refreshed and no one can steal those two hours of virtual happiness and imagination from him, provided the movie is good enough. Similarly a person creates an online profile with variety of names ranging from “Neo-The one” to “Being Human” reflecting his thoughts, desires and favourites.
Like Neo from the movie Matrix learns that Trinity and Morpheus dwell on human bio-electricity and have the ability to plug and unplug humans, we all have learnt to find virtual reality in the online world. No one wants to show their real face to the masked people in the online world of blogs, messengers and social networks.
I read somewhere that “Facebook is all about projecting your mediocre moments as awesome ones.” It is so true.
Now, that almost everybody is addicted to the internet and social networks, it suddenly becomes a necessity to flaunt your happy and happening life on the same, under some pseudonym of course, where even the silly troubles or frustrations are also hidden.
For example, a person with the name “I rock” puts up his cover photo where he is standing on the rock in Ladakh. People queue up to like his picture or throw one or two hasty comments like “U rock,” “U r gorgeous <3 almost="" and="" conquered="" font="" forth.="" has="" he="" it="" like="" on="" ow="" seems="" so="" the="" world="">3>
And the amount of happiness a “like” on Facebook gives is equivalent to the bliss when there is a salary hike!
In reality how many rocks, stones and obstacles “I rock” had to cross to reach Ladakh or when and for how many days was he hospitalised or when was he robbed of all his money is not disclosed by him to the virtual world. If those details are also displayed, needless to say he will gain instant sympathy and advice from every Tom Dick and Harry!
Actually virtual world is open to anything and everything you give. The only thing that depends on you is what all you want to reveal, whereas in real world there are some limitations to revelations or at least objections as you have to face the person and talk to him in person.
For example, if you wear a mini skirt in your in-laws’ house it will be objected whereas a photo in the same mini skirt can be your profile picture with 1000 likes which will be your hour of fame.
In real world you are just another person and every day is just another day which starts at 9 and ends at 6 starting with coffee, oats, the same boss, same meeting, same phone calls, same soaps, sitcoms but when it comes to discussing them, the doors of virtual world are always open.
Like in some movie you might be chatting with a person who is just sitting diagonally opposite to you but you are a celebrity in your virtual world!
You might put up a status on your Facebook that says “My office sucks.” No one will mind. If moral police has all its eyes on you that’s a different topic but certainly you won’t be able to put up the same status on the office IM. You might write a ranting post which discloses all your office secrets and boyfriend frustrations on a blog and you will get comments from nook and corner of the world but if you try discussing the same frustration with your boss your appraisal will be at toss!
You are identified as Mr. Kapoor (example) in your office but you change your avatar (form) every alternate day in virtual world. Now, which one is your actual personality and the real identity can be decided only by you. Some people are simple, sober and stick only to the real world. Some are flamboyant and try maintaining no boundary in both the worlds where as some differ in both the worlds. Which exactly is their real identity is a debatable question?
It is all messed up as to what is really virtual or which is virtually real. It will take a life time to identify the identities, illusions and virtual realities. As a final word I wrote a poem which shows two faced identities of a person.
“In solitude my mind it screams.
My virtual face is in bliss and it beams.
At this hour of night I sleep but she dreams.
One is sad and the other is in hearty smiles.
One is resting in peace and the other has traveled miles”!