Defending the Realness of the Unreal Self

Or, rather, if I had a chance or the time to rewrite it, that’s what I would have said. Something about the representation of self as ‘unreal’, but that’s why it’s so vital to defend from snooping. Or something.

Anyway, because I have nothing else to put on this blog right now, over at Hazlitt I consider a couple of things: if people (like Jonathan Safran Foer in the NYT) say that the virtual is unreal, and takes us away from what’s important, then why do we get so antsy about the idea that our ‘virtual lives’ might be surveilled? And more importantly, if our metaphors of ‘authentic living’ so often involve transparency and light – that we must ‘be seen as ourselves’ – do we need a different metaphor for the ‘authentic augmented cyborg self’? i.e. one that embraces opacity, obfuscation? Or is that just a coping mechanism?

But yeah, it’d be nice at some time to come back to this idea and think about whether privacy is actually more important for spaces of fantasy than it is for the usual normative behaviours we find online – and are arguably encouraged by the panoptic nature of social media.

Anyway, my editor seemed to suggest it was less stupid and less badly written than most of my drivel, so if you like, take a gander here.


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