by Karen Frazier, Managing Editor
Paranormal Underground Magazine
This morning when I did my daily quick login to Facebook, something caught my eye. In my suggestions section (which I largely ignore), it suggested that I friend someone who I know has been dead for quite a while now.
Nope – I’m not suggesting that there is anything paranormal about that at all. It just got me thinking, as such thinks are wont to do. The internet has changed the game. In a very real way, if we’ve had any dealings on the Internet, we maintain a tangible presence in this world long after we have passed from it.
If I were gone tomorrow, certainly I would live on in the hearts and minds of those who love me (and cause great joy in those who don’t think I’m so great); however, how many would really even remember that I was here? The internet, it seems, confers a sort of immortality.
A man I once knew died about four years ago, and yet his blog chronicling his ascent towards death remains, untouched. He is there. While he has never left the hearts and minds of his friends and family, there is something more of him left behind. His words represented his essence. His presence on the internet was graceful and gentle, much as he was in life. He was never in the movies. He was never famous. He was a man who realized that he didn’t need fame or fortune to touch a life. Instead he shared who he was at his very core, and his impact on those who read his words continues to have a profound effect long after he has passed from this realm.
The internet is a double edged sword. It has rendered us all faceless and anonymous. Many use that faceless anonymity to behave in a way that they never would were they sitting face-to-face with another, looking into that person’s eyes and seeing how their behavior, words and actions affected them. Many are unkind and even cruel on the internet – something they would never be in person. The internet can also be beautiful, however. It can be used to affect positive change. To share ideas. To make connections. It allows the common man a platform. It is a non-exclusive way to share who we are with anyone who would care to find out. As with everything else, it’s all in the implementation. It can be a tool of beauty or ugliness – just depending on how you choose to use it.
After I am gone, how will my presence linger in this invisible web? Yes – I will be remembered in the hearts and minds of my family, but something more will remain as well. I have what I believe is a typical internet presence. I have a Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. I participate in a few forums from time to time. I blog. There are a few articles out there that I’ve written, a few sites that feature my face and a few people who’ve thought I was interesting enough to interview me. I can only hope I’ve used that presence wisely and that after I am gone, whatever remains of me on the internet paints a portrait of who I really was.
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