Essay: Victim of the Cyberspace

by Matei Stefan Bozieru, St Sava National College, Bucharest

What on earth is wrong with my family? My 41-year old dad committed suicide before my own eyes, tired of the hard ‘farm work’ and sick of all the bloodshed in the Mafia Wars. Despite having reached a Don he could take it no more, so one night, about 2 months ago he simply unplugged himself from his Facebook page to enjoy the ‘freedom’ of the Net and Messenger again.

My eight-year old baby brother is no better; he barely talks to me when I get home from school as he’s deeply glued to the chair in front of the computer screen playing WOW or some other equally bloody game.

Thank God I’ve got my mom, though she is constantly assessing some homework e-mailed by her students. Even so, she will always buzz me on me on Messenger, from the living room PC to let me know some pseudo-dinner is ready. Have they all gone mad or is it just me?

To make matters worse, my Mexican pal, whom I’ve never so far seen but met on line, keeps inviting me to join her at the Californian university she’s been studying for the past year, my friends will not go out for they have some downloading to finish before they can initiate the newest online version of some fancy computer game while my girlfriend can barely find the time to meet me downtown in weekends for she thinks the cyberspace offers us sufficient interaction every evening when we date on line. Then again, if I miss her terribly, I can always access her Facebook and post a new complimentary comment!

Is this the future of communication? Are we to become the most alienated creatures to have roamed this planet? From where I stand, we’ll end up being the loneliest beings alive.

There is no doubt that the Internet has changed our lives, it facilitated us free access to information, broadened our horizon, and allowed people to interact regardless of religion, race or gender, yet the socializing networks have turned us into maniacal computer addicts whose sole purpose is to pug in to the cyberspace and out of reality. Can anybody doubt the Matrix scenario? Take a look around and you’ll see the only thing is missing are the actual plugs behind our heads.

The grim future of networking will leave us desolated, incapable of telling truth from mere lying, unable to interact the old-fashioned way, face to face. In the meanwhile I’ll chat with friends online, date my girlfriend on Facebook, browse cooking sites for pictures of the dishes my mom used to cook so I can remember why I don’t want a blog, Hi5 profile or Facebook page.

Believe it or not, I sometimes feel a victim of the socializing networks which deprived me of the simple pleasures of life. Should I create a blog for cyberspace victims?

Acest eseu este castigatorului unui PREMIU special in cadrul 2010 Shakespeare School Essay Competition, grupa  de varsta 15-19 ani, avand ca tema Discuss the role and future of social networking sites hi5 and Facebook“. Premiul a constat intr-un discount de 25% la orice curs intensiv de vara de limba engleza la Shakespeare School, precum si in carti si alte cadouri de la Diverta si Fischer International. Dorim sa il felicitam pe Stefan pentru faptul ca s-a evidentiat din peste 3100 de eseuri trimise la concursul national de creatie in limba engleza organizat de Shakespeare School si ii uram mult succes in continuare!

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