Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Follower of the Pack

Survival of the fittest is a ridiculous concept. For humans. We no longer live by the proportions of our bodies, or our ability to hunt and gather. We live by intellect and the ability to apply that to the cauldrons of chaos we are forced to stir each day. We could sit back and wait for a wounded gazelle to totter past, but, in the city, that seldom happens. I went out to gather some nuts and berries in my garden, which is a 4x4 patch of paving, and the only thing with nutritious value that I could find was a rather emaciated-looking garden snail.

We don’t have to build a beautiful nest, or a towering set of antlers to find a mate. All we have to have is a webcam and a line in flattery. Given the virtual nature of our lives, if we could have sex and give birth online, our lives would be so tidy and contained, we would no longer need bothersome things like legs at all. Fitness should be gauged by our ability to sit upright on a typist’s chair. We can all be the Alpha males of our packs, running in formation towards our prey. We can claim leadership status without having to earn it- all it is is a title, really.

Too cynical? Maybe, a little. It’s good to get out, to stretch your legs, meet people and put the old instincts into action. Ultimately, being online creates a world that exists largely in your mind, and one that is dependent on your self-confidence, self-delusion or ability to code in html. It is intimidating to go into a world where people know you as a series of witticisms or for your ability to LOL, or say OMG when something bad happens. But when you do, and you stretch yourself, you often find that even though you may not be the Alpha male of your imagination, you are not the helpless runt of your deepest-seated fears.

There is something to be said for the tactile experience of a real hug, which no amount of brackets can express. There is something seen in the glint of an eye which a semi-colon doesn’t contain. There is nothing quite as intimate as feeling your heart beat faster, instead of typing a heart tag, As passionate as we can be in words, passion without the reality of the brush of fingertips and the caress of an exposed neck is never as satisfying.

So. Real world, real fears, real survival. It’s good to face it. It’s not easy, sure, but we can adapt. That is where our real skills lie. Adaptation of the most average. Seems to be much more appropriate than survival of the fittest.

Hoping to ((HUG)) you soon, and LOL! And maybe PMSL, or ROFL. May all your avatars be a poor reflection of the incredibly deep people you really are.


  1. Hey how did you make it impossible to cut and paste your text? Handy! (I was just going to cut and paste my favorite line into the comment, the bit about having sex and giving birth online. HAH!)

    My second favorite sentence is the last one.

  2. @beck: haha- it wasn't some over-protective thing to protect the 'writing', just a setting somewhere, I guess... Glad you found something in it to make you laugh, or think, or something :-)

  3. My dear friend I will never dis the internet because through it we found this crazy mad friendship. Strange how it can have grown to mean so much in such a short space of time. But this week I wanted more than anything else to be able to give you a hug, pour glasses of wine, weep and laugh together. I wanted the real that the (((hug)) just can't do.
    So until I see you again we make do and support each other through the craziness with #hashtags about panties and LOL and ((hugs)).

  4. @Sally-Jane: What a lovely thing to say- knowing that you are really tapping into some emotional reserves yourself. Crazy? Mad? It was bound to happen! Frankly, the crazier the better. I value your support, PHG, and the virtual ((hugs)) may not be quite the same, but keep em coming. The #hashtags about panties? Not so much. :-) How did someone put it- IRL is actually when you ARE online, and the other state is AFK- Away From Keyboard....

  5. Having to distinguish between the web and real life is sad. Plain sad.

  6. @Anonymous: There is no distinguishing. That's kinda the point. And sadness is all part of the range of human emotions. Unwillingness to experience it makes one a sociopath. I'd rather be an actual person online, than anonymous, virtually or not.


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