Saturday, October 14, 2006

This place, the interactive world of the internet. Cyberland, virtual reality, blogospere, or whatever else you call it is one giant costume party. It's where we come to show what we wish to reveal to complete strangers who soon become friends who we would embrace tightly were we ever to meet them. At least for a little while.
Mark Twain said that no man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar. I always wonder when the initial joy of discovery would wear thin and an uncomfortableness of reality would hit were any of us to meet.
I heard it said once that the more masks we wear, the more we actually reveal of our true selves. One thing we all know is that there are parts of us that we don't want those close to us ever seeing. Just the same, there are parts of us those people know well but that we don't want people outside of a certain comfort zone to see.
Of course the degrees of each of those things varies greatly with the individual.
So we wear masks in here.
Masks that we cannot always see.
Would you trust somebody to pick a mask for you to attend a party? Let's imagine this scenario. Twenty friends gather for a costume party and are led into a room blindfolded where the host will place a mask on the guests. All of the masks look exactly the same from the the back and the front with the difference being a word written of the forehead that the wearer of the mask cannot see. This word describes the character of that person for that night and all of the party goers must agree to treat that person as if that one word described their entire personality.
Wealthy, Generous, Hung, Whore, HIV+, Gay, Honest, Liar, Cheat, Herpes, Married, Fellates, Loser, Friend, Safe, Gossip, True, False, Willing, Religious.
What if the host selected each mask for each person? What if the host selected at random? What if at the end of the part the participants got to see their word? What if they didn't? What if the party was filmed so the participants could watch and figure out who was who and how who treated each other who? How many friends would part enemies? Even if they knew the theme of the party beforehand? How many people would remain stigmatized? How many would volunteer to do the party again? How many would want to select the masks next time?
Blogs are like that. There is what we feel ourselves to be and then there is the perception of who we are by others who also wear masks. Sometimes we select a mask that we think would be fun to wear to the party. It's all a lark. We will never take our masks off while we're at the party but every now and then somebody at the party either as a guest or a gate crasher recognizes our voice and drags us outside for a scolding, or worse, removes their mask in front of us to reveal a face covered in tears.
Some of us are honest in here when our closest friends and loved ones would prefer that we lie. Some of us play innocent games which, for others, would damn us to eternal hell fire.

I'm just like most of you. Wearing a mask that sometimes I don't see and dancing on a volcano.

wow. nicely written.

wondering....when is there ever a moment when we are maskless? sometimes i think i wear more masks in real life than i do in blog land...
i haven't made up my mind about the mask thing online. i like to leave room for doubt. xx
well i've been experimenting with not wearing a mask, and it is personally quite vitalising, but I do lose readers.
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