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Questions of Email and of Existence

All of us here in the cyberworld have an umbilical to the Internet. The one that twitches if the power goes out and *we don’t get our email*. I’ve seen entries from writers experiencing a power outage who are ensconced in a nice cosy WiFI-equipped coffee shop explaining on LiveJournal why they can’t be on LiveJournal.

If we aren’t connected to the Internet, if we don’t have a pseudopod in the cyberworld… do we exist?

People carry the Net with them to an unprecedented degree these days. iPhones and Blackberrys let you check the weather on the go or buy movie tickets while driving to the cinema. We are connected, like the human race has never been before.

I have friends with whom I’ve communicated via email-only for years and have never physically met; our shadowy selves meet and flirt and chase each other’s shadows and electrons down the winding paths of the electronic highway, and we may not hear each other’s actual voice, or see each other’s faces … and yet, the friendships are often as tight, as close, as real as anything at all that comes across a firm clasp of hands in “meatspace”.

But are we large enough, infinite enough, to exist both there and out here where the sun shines and the deer pick their delicate way across the wood and the squirrels leap and chitter while chasing one another around the tree trunk? Where is the boundary between the tangible and the intangible? How do we define reality these days – what is “real”, and does something need to be touched to be believed?

We exist in something that is very much an ether, a rarefied atmosphere where we are atoms and shadows. I am writing this sitting in a real place, my office, my chair, typing on a clacky keyboard, staring at a monitor – you are reading this in your real places. Somewhere between those two realities there is a bridge which we both step on when we enter the cyberworld, one foot back in our own respective “realities” and the other somewhere in Terra Incognita, dissolving into the mist.

Do I really exist? Do you? Or are we what the Internet has created, imaginary companions for a precocious ghostly child which spans our world, playing with our daily realities…?

I blog, therefore I am…?

Oh well. I have to go now. I need to check my mail.

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About AlmaAlexander

I am a novelist, short story writer and anthologist.

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