Entering The Shallow End
This post comes about after the Internet – this mysterious web that connects virtually every person and everything in the world – claims yet another victim, this time a 22 year old friendship; one that began long before Facebook or MySpace were so much as a thought, even before the practicality of personal computers came to light. It began back in high school between two girls on the road to finding themselves. This road was full of testing twists and turns, hills, valleys, and a few mountains that seemed to appear out of nowhere. It was a road of bonding and rebellion, of pacts and backstabbing, even of forks that strayed from the other side, often for a decade. One thing was certain – it always met back up in the middle.
Now, after all the years behind this road trip, it seems to have come to a screeching halt, twisted violently into irrepairably damaged shards of what it once was. One friend shared her joy, one shared her sadness. And with only two innocent, self-feeling words from the latter, “wouldn’t know,” the bomb was dropped that destroyed the delicate fabric that held together these two paths. Without compassion, the joyful girl without warning turned words to poison as she proceeded to attack the other, her life, her very feelings, dredging up vile phrases which had in fact nothing to do with the originating topic of conversation. It was as if something cracked in that pretty outer shell that she’d erected and out came the deluge of the pure ugliness within. Ah… now *there’s* the real Her. Shame it won’t be missed.
It shocked quite a few people, this sudden turn of attack. However, after 22 years, one does tend to be able to tell within a person what is real within them. This did not come as much of a surprise to the girl who attempted to share herself and came under attack, because this is how she always remembered the attacker – as one never to be trusted. Words of defense were uttered (read: typed), and that was it. More than two decades were simply erased with the clicking of “Delete.” Now, the fallout of such an event will no doubt continue to ripple on for days as news of it continues to pour into her e-mail in-box long after the deed was done. Certainly they don’t realize she can still see the talk behind her back while lurking in the e-shadows watching the comments fly… or, more than likely they do, in some ways, hope that the words do get back to her, if only for their own opinions to be heard as they jump on the Petty Train. But nevermind, she’s already moved on.
This would not likely have happened were these two friends in the same room, and the same two words had been uttered. Perhaps there may have been a glare, or compassion, or a quiet talk. But that’s the charm of the Internet. One may appear as deep as they desire but in reality, they only hold as much depth as the screen on which they write. It takes personal contact to find the true depth within a person. Online, we are but shallow waters in the sea of pixels. The ability to hide behind a screen makes people – pardon my language – pretty shitty – because there is no real recourse, no judgement, no penalty. Pixelife goes on unfettered, safe in the shallow end.
~~~ …and now, for something completely different. ~~~