Emigrants of Our Own Selves

La Voz de Galicia – August 20, 2021 →

Cristina PatoAt times, I wonder about the direction in which we are headed regarding the way we relate to others. If WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (and other applications whose name I don’t even know) had already shaped the way we communicated with each other, with the arrival of the pandemic that virtual communication became a constant, and those little great concentric circles on the web ended up being our social life. A social life as real as it is unreal because at the end of the day one is with whom one can be, with whom circumstances allow. And because today we have the opportunity to remove ourselves from that real presence to submerge ourselves in that parallel reality that is not always real, I have the feeling that little by little we lose the ability to be present, in body and soul, in a particular place.

Perhaps we became emigrants of our own selves because we can choose which of the two realities we want to participate in at a given moment: in that of the real, anonymous world or in the virtual, public world. And perhaps, with the passage of time, it will happen to us what has happened to many immigrants: that there will come a moment where we will realize that there is no turning back, that we are officially inhabitants in the middle. We live between two realities, and the balance between being here and there becomes increasingly difficult.

I never imagined that virtual social life would end up being so powerful. Or that it would be so complicated trying to disregard it because anything from business to public opinion depends upon it. But I reckon it is too late to choose if we leave or remain in that virtual country because the kings of algorithms have already decided for us: we became emigrants of our own reality…

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