It's odd to physically meet someone you already know virtually. You’ve seen the frozen moments of their existence, all strategically displayed through the sockets of some social networking opinion peddling site. It’s the kind of site that perverse the concept of a raw emerging virtual space by seducing our egos to surrender our identity for it’s profit. We are charmed by it’s hypnotic promise of freedom of identity. In reality we obediently regurgitate our feebly constructed personalities feeding into the illusion of freedom, only to find it’s a heavy steamy turd. The Internet is a pocket that holds the illusion of identity.
So we watch the world through other people’s snap shots, all based on the captured moments they subscribe the highest value. We construct our own version of their stories for those stationary moments. Their narratives unfold, revealing collective associations. We make up the pieces in between and apply our own understanding as crazy glue to hold it all together.
So when the moment comes when you actually see the other live in the flesh, an awkward feeling emerges. You already established a familiarity with the tiny little pieces of their lives, yet you cannot openly admit to watching. You feel guilty for lurking; yet you will not stop looking. So you are careful with what you say, careful not to leak any indication of what you already think you know about their reality. You ache to gloss over into the realm of familiarity and camaraderie.
You only know them through the intimate stories your imagination has constructed. And you have an expectation of who they should be. How is anyone supposed to live up to the imaginary expectation of strangers? It might be safer to just hide away at home behind the computer screen. We all watch and interact behind the safety of binary codes. It is so easy to construct the stories of others and avoid creating the reality of our waking life.