In defense of web suicide

I think web suicide is one of the bravest actions currently available in a society which seems to get more intrusive as time passes. We got no privacy, no hidden secrets. Our human relationships are treated as "tweets", "comments", "feedbacks" or "posts". We are allowed to know all the intimate details of a person's life and when this person is so exposed we pretend to know him/her better than his/her real friends. Recently Mark Pilgrim closed all his web sites and all of a sudden most people started to worry about his health. Why that? Because we're so accustomed to confuse our digital life with our real life that we simply can't accept the fact that a person may actually be more worried about his real life than keeping his web life alive. Digital life is, to put it in psychological terms, a derealisation of our real self. It's a fake self, it's a movie we're directing, it's not us. We pretend we're true when we write something, but we're lying, though we're not conscious of that. I'm lying even while I'm writing this post because I can change my words, I can choose the most appropriate expressions and modify them. In the real life it's much more difficult to do that, since the physical presence of other people may affect my judgement. The web has the words, not the emotions.

Web suicide is a choice we should respect. In a technological society, it's the ultimate choice: to get back to real life, to focus on real persons and not on virtual/digital persons. I admire Mark Pilgrim for his choice. If I had less to lose, I'd do exactly the same thing.

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