Wednesday, 11 January 2017

On Social Media

Haters gonna hate
Through social media, modern technologies enabled by pervasive internet access and cheap devices for accessing the internet, I feel globally connected to networks of people who love and uphold each other. Facebook, twitter and the like are how we make this real on a daily basis. This is not without dangers and can be a source of consternation for those who see the risks and for those who fear the public nature of social media interaction. It is nonetheless very real human interaction, with all the dangers and mess that come with any form of human interaction. In fact you can see the whole of the internet as the global psyche of humanity on display for all to see: weird, horrible, wonderful, beautiful and terrible. Just like us. My main plea would be that we are as quick, indeed quicker, to praise and laud the beautiful than we are to denigrate the ugly.

I am aware (because I have been told) that my own use of social media is a source of consternation to some people. Here are my thoughts on the topic. As you would expect, it originated as a facebook post.

True love, true beauty, the source, is actually a poison: a deadly longing. It will unmake you if you look too long. True love is a slow acting but inexorable toxin, if you've already looked then maybe it is now too late for you. And if you refuse to be unmade, well, perhaps you die.

Anyway, back to the topic of social media that some of us were discussing over the last few days. First of all I see all of life as performance art. The only thing to be taken seriously is love, and that we take deathly seriously. About everything else we can't be certain anyway so why take it too seriously? If you try to take everything I post seriously it might actually*drive you mad. I'm not even kidding, I have actually been mad - so I know the path there and I know the path back. I don't recommend it.

It's very hard to tell the difference between a released personality and showmanship, mostly because in many cases there isn't a great deal of difference. Russel Brand is someone who I consider does both to great effect, and I admire him for it. He is much more astute than many give him credit for and he greatly enjoys being himself.

On twitter I maintain two accounts, one geek (@voidspace) and one non-geek (@mfoord). This allows my beautiful and genuine (amongst the most beautiful people I've ever met) programmer friends who distrust religion to interact with me without being subjected to my spiritual craziness. And the non-geek account allows my non-geek friends to interact with me without being subjected to the impenetrable nonsense that goes with being a high level geek. This means that everyone thinks I'm crazy for some reason, but they can interact with the parts of me that they can relate to (I don't think they're wrong that I'm crazy - I just enjoy and can cope with being this way). Some people can cope with all my craziness and follow both my accounts.

On facebook I have just one account and I post whatever I want. It's my account and if you can't cope with me then unfollow or unfriend or whatever. I like to respect people's boundaries, which is why I don't post spiritual content on my geek twitter account, but I need people to respect my boundaries too. I enjoy being me and I have lots of wonderful friends who enjoy me too, and I enjoy them. If you don't enjoy me, then I'm very sorry, it probably just means we're not really friends. That's sad, but it's a fact of life. In direct interactions with anyone I will modify my behaviour as much as I feel is reasonable in order to avoid hurting or offending people unnecessarily whilst still standing up for what I think is right. On facebook I get to be me.

It's worth noting that I have no problem with my geek friends not wanting, nor being able to cope with, religious and spiritual content. Many of them have had terrible (evil) experiences of religion and the religious and I respect their right to hate it.

For those who question the integrity of seeing life as performance art I have two things to say. Get to know me and see how I live. I take loving deathly seriously and, human failings notwithstanding, it is what I seek to do all the time. Secondly, calling it performance art doesn't mean I don't mean it. I think beauty is a poison that will change everything about how you see yourself if you let it. And to not let it is even more dangerous. It's a wild, idealistic poem, but it's also a warning.

Love means business, do it or die. Those are the only two options. The war in heaven has begun.

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