Day three and I’ve resorted to being technology-adjacent. I just spent twenty minutes rearranging the icons on the front screen of my phone. I know, emergency phone calls only, but someone called and I had to see who it was and then the icons just looked so disheveled. It’s a slippery slope right back to cyborgness, it really is. But let’s talk for a moment about the thing that really bothers me about being disconnected: Life is going on without me. I feel so left out of everything anyone in the world is doing right now. Without my digital lifeline my existence really is reduced to sitting on my sofa, eating a salad and stroking the fuzzy dog head in my lap. And I’m not saying it’s a horrible life, because those are some of my favorite things, but the email and the Facebook and the Twitter distract me from that reality. When I’m online my brain imagines I’m in a room with these people, that we’re having real, insightful, important conversations.
And another thing, when I’m online I always look exactly like my profile photo, the one with the perfectly selected smile and head tilt. In real life I have looked like that photo exactly one time, when it was taken. In real life I’m in my pajamas, my hair is probably doing a weird thing and I may or may not have a big red zit somewhere on my chin (thirty-five is such a glamorous age). To put it mildly, this reality version of me is far from fit for public consumption. But when I go online none of that matters.
I’m beginning to wonder if any of the character I play on the internet is actually me, and what kind of split between fantasy and reality are we talking about? Is she 60% figment, 40% real? 70/30? 90/10? 99.999/.0001? And if it’s as skewed toward fiction as I think, then who the hell am I without it? And where did this weird fake Carrie come from?