Monday, September 05, 2005

My Kidnapping and How Funny the Internet Can Be at Times

I haven't been posting for a long walk in the park because I moved back with tha folks, and the Internet was still down, for the who-knows-how-many-days-it-has-been-for-those-sorry-near-septogenerian-relatives-of-mine-who-must-be-losing-it-by-now-trying-to-figure-out-how-hard-it-could-possibly-be-for-some-half-wit-to-simply-reconnect-a-damn-Internet-cable.

During the sound of my father's exasperated voice mounting over the phone to yet another customer service agent, the CSA explained that he was doing the best he could, though he obviously had nothing peachy to offer, more than "we're trying to come up with a solution [for your lingering disfunction with the Internet]" or some other empty word that was a waste of an ear when it meant no freedom for me, who was left helpless, without any external communication with the world.


But then today it worked! ~Congratulations boys and girls! Time for tea!~ I was talking with a friend*. A good friend. We've been colleagues for a long time, though we see little of each other. It was getting late and they had to go*. They were talking of being lonely as a matter of social routine. We tell others we miss them, we care, blahblahblahblahblah. At the end it seemed sentimental, but I love to poke these moments further, play with ambiguity of expression. With the Internet it's easy because you aren't really present to judge someone's genuine facial expression when they're communicating with you (unless you have really fast video chat capacities on your PC). It's kinda like poker, you can bluff. The Internet is a big poker face, though that's not to say it can't be genuine. If I was actually saying what I was typing to this person in real life, I probably wouldn't, though it would be close. It's easy to express words without emotion when you don't have to show it, but we don't do so as readily in real life, it seems, or rather, it's just different. However, based on what I said over the Internet, it would have been natural to hug them in real life, had I been there in person.

Conveniently, MSN has put emocions in there vocabulary of 'text' for us to use when we can't be there in person. Two images that you can use are of the hugging figures. When you use the right-facing hugging figure, the other person can return the hug by clicking on the left-facing hugging figure, and it is very sweet and nerdy, like a slide-show of digitally drawn scherades to represent our self-gauged expression. I guess I'm down with it. You can send people pizzas, taxi's, phones, meaning "call me" or send them an image of a clock, for them to check their time, or a happy face, or whatever. They do come in handy. Anyway, with the hugging emoticons or whatever they're called [the symbols, ok?], unleashing their true Hollywood potential is what we did. Virtual hug. Then I thought of my friend, with their black sense of humour, and how absurd it was for either of us to possibly relate to two small pixely cartoon images, as an extention of our longing, grasping arms, and I laughed my ass off.

But I guess, when we're physically so far away, we make due with what we have.

*I wasn't really "talking" to anyone. I was communicating with my friend, but it was virtual. Let me explain: What I was really doing was typing buttons referred to as 'keys' on a 'keyboard' which are encrypted into 'text' on a computer screen, (it's really quite amazing!) this 'text' is sent via the 'Internet' over to, NOT the other person (we have to be very cautious about types of conjectures that suggest what is not literally true), but to their computer screen. Then that person carefully reads it and they can even type or "talk" back. Now, it kinda makes you wonder? Are you 'talking' when you're on the computer? No, you are you typing.

*not referring to physically leaving, more as in: sign off of the Internet.


Blogger joe said...

I suppose we never really talk to anyone, unless it's literally talking. chatting on the internet is no different than writing a letter and sending it off into the mail, to arrive safely in the hands of your friend. the words are transmitted from the medium. but then, what is talking but a bunch of mutually agreed sounds that derive its meanings from the grammar, the rules and the nature of linguisitcs? can we truly communicate without being psychic?

10:57 p.m.  
Blogger sirbarrett said...

Good questions Joe. I guess all communication involves an implicit trust that the reciever is getting us.

11:12 a.m.  

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