Tuesday, February 19, 2013
The other day, I was reading about how people are responding to the "ghost" profiles of dead folks on Facebook. Some feel comforted that something is publicly left of their friend or loved one. Others find it an unnerving reminder, an unwanted ghost that keeps reappearing. There's a sense that those who are hooked in to the Facebook world, or social media world in general, are grieving differently. That a certain element of grief has gone public, where not too long ago it probably would have been totally private. I don't think this is bad or good per se, but it is interesting how something digital - like a Facebook profile - can have so much emotion attached to it.
I sometimes feel similarly about old blog posts. This one of mine from over two years ago, about Buddhism and Ayn Rand, suddenly has been receiving comments again. It certainly doesn't affect me in the way the Facebook profile of a dead friend or loved one probably would, but somehow I feel a bit of ghost all the same. Ayn Rand seems to linger in this country in ways I'd rather her and her views didn't. But there's also the blog post itself, words I typed in days gone by, that are returning, great reminders that the past is also the present. No separation, whether I like it or not.
It's easy to think the internet is an entirely different world, or something not real at all, just a playland or workspace for humans. But it's part of this universe as much as the dirt and snow on my boots. That's oddly comforting, and discomforting, at the same time.