Invisible Bridges

Iíve just been initiated into the language that, at the moment, is probably the fastest growing form of communication in the computer literate part of the planet. Crystallized within the confines of online access and frequency, itís not for the hoi polloi.

Cyberspeak comes easy to me. Itís straightforward and gives ample opportunities for the apprentice who wishes to sharpen his skills, when and where he wants to. IMHO, cyberculture has been silently claiming victims, eroding and in some cases, replacing communal fibers. OTOH, itís yet another medium open to abuse, advantage and weakness. A liaison is always rife with greatness and demise.

One of the unseen vicitimizers raging in the undergrowth of cyberspace is the malicious urban legend. In the glare of stardom, Lauryn Hillís life has become public property, one of the diagnosed side-effects of success. Star struck and lionized , she is rumoured to have said that she would rather deny her children food than have a white fan base. The word on the street is now universal rumor- mongering, and the virtual grapevine has proven to be just as irrational and vicious as any other.

Microscopic details, if affordable, would reveal that Hillís success would be unattainable without her white fans. She is also a member of reggaeís first family and her children consequently share affinity with a British family through their grandfather.

Just like cyber warfare, the spread of untruth is fast, has no given or identifiable source and it can therefore clear itself from accusations of libel. Therein lies its moral dilemma. Or perhaps its absolute finesse.

The Blatant enthusiasm of a technophile surrounding this new revolutionary medium turns into the painful realization that its most overused mantra to justify its existence, is a myth. The seducing point has been its unifying force which extends beyond cultural and geographic boundaries is a well of information and insight into the lives of people and creatures whose lives transpose ours.

Standing the risk of exposing my technophobia, I seriously wonder how much I really learn about the numerous travelers I meet on the web. Notwithstanding identity forgery, there is that eerie feeling that even though I am who I say I am and You are who you say you are, that the meeting has been transformed by the medium. That even though I can tell you my reflections, fears, hopes and dilemmas, the disconnection canít really be repaired. Yes, the door to avoid typecasting and insipid generalizations is open. I can say Iíve spoken to Ted rather than an Australian or a Greek. But can I really get to know him? On whose terms?

And with a safe distance enhanced, it isnít a surprise that people these days would rather write an e-mail than walk over next door and engage in small talk, eye to eye contact, the ambiguity of body language and time theft. Thatís why life is amplified, existence emanates in vibrant colors in a place I canít really identify or sense.
    The virtual tango could turn the meek coward into a daring risk-taker and the written word devours readers, running on tongues and fingertips with the enticing spice of melodrama.