Romeo, Romeo . . . Wherefore art thou Romeo?
--Juliet, lame old love scene
Joy and peace.
In the famous play, Juliet asks, “Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou always online and never in mine arms?” Which is to say, “Dude, turn off the laptop and climb my freakin balcony.”
This may have been a sensible comment for Juliet, but for those of us without a balcony, things aren’t that simple. There are times when we only have online. For the modern Romeo and Juliet, sometimes, whole romances may begin and end online. Promises are made, hearts pledged, hopes dashed, doors slammed. Okay, once in awhile it can work . . . but not for you. (Just kiddin. Don’t be so serious.)
But think about it. How real is life online? There’s a fundamental falseness in a scene where you can adopt a name that isn’t yours and put up an image that isn’t what you look like. Doesn’t this whole deal make us all fakers? Yes. And that’s probably the coolest thing about it. You can be who you want to be. You can change. You can transform. You can experiment. You can fake it.
Now, hang on, mom and dad. Hold up there, Bishop. This is a totally different issue from whether you’re being authentic, truthful, or trustworthy. You already know that writing fiction is a way of lying to tell a truth. Online, we’re all fiction writers. Which brings us neatly to what our friends learn in the book Entr@pment:
All You Need to Know about Life Online
- life online is as real as you are
- so is life offline