I’ve been watching a fascinating series on Netflix called Black Mirror. Black Mirror is a British television anthology created by Charlie Brooker that features speculative fiction with dark and sometimes satirical themes which examine modern society, particularly with regard to the unanticipated consequences of new technologies. (source: Wikipedia).
As with all well made British programs, it is subtle in its approach and execution and each episode makes you think, I mean really think! I’m really enjoying it.
One episode that really got me thinking was titled Be Right Back. In short it’s about the death of a man following an accident and his wife’s struggles to come to terms with her life without him.
A concerned friend signs her up to a service that gives her the ability to communicate with a virtual avatar of her husband based on his online communications. Initially she chats on the computer, then upgrades to a voice service and the final step is a life size version of him, again based on his online communications.
When she has the life size version of him, he looks younger and more attractive, and as he pointed out, we only put the good photos of ourselves online. (I am guilty of that one!) As she spent more time with him, she notices that essentially he is a much shallower version of himself with no depth of character and none of the character flaws or personality traits that made him the complete but imperfect human that he was.
It’s actually an incredibly fascinating insight into human behaviour, in particular how how we portray ourselves and communicate with each other online. Many people post their seemingly perfect lives, families, jobs, relationships and bodies, but how many of us are comfortable sharing our imperfections and vulnerabilities? Now I’m not suggesting we over share or air our dirty laundry and nothing irks me more than vague-booking and people constantly talking about their problems and attention seeking, no. What I am suggesting however is that we need to be a little more real. Like we are in real life. Like we used to be. Like we should be. Perfect in our imperfections.
We are multi dimensional beings with complicated layers of beauty, issues, brilliance, flaws and greatness. One of the things that I have absolutely loved about writing this blog, is that for the first time in my life I’m embracing my imperfections and vulnerabilities. I am not only embracing them, I am talking about them. Loudly and proudly. I don’t write for anyone other than me and man it feels good to share the side of me that I have spent a lifetime keeping hidden behind perfectionist behaviours.
I love my online world, in fact I love it a little too much to be honest, and I said yesterday that the internet was my muse as well as my nemesis, which is true. I’m doing my best to keep it real and the more real I get, the more awesome my life becomes.
It’s time for us to be real, on and offline.