For the last three years, I have explored the world of online sharing. Initially, in this blog, then on Intent.com, then Facebook, then Twitter. As we enter the world of social networks, we enter a paradoxical realm of great subtlety yet powerful influence. We leave behind the balanced middle ground of real life (RL) and reach into the etheric range of nuances that resonate with our voice. The enveloping element of communication still surrounds us, yet we reach beyond it into the unknown ether into the realm of subconscious thoughts and creativity.
In our early history we concerned ourselves with form, movement, activity, and relationships - things that are easily observed. At this point in human evolution, our attention has shifted to the realm of the subconscious, the part of consciousness that is not currently in focal awareness. Given that there is a limit to the amount of information that can be held in conscious focal awareness, the internet becomes the storehouse for our knowledge; this is now the subconscious of the human race.
Symbols are the building blocks of consciousness, the link between the physical and virtual. Words, images, and thoughts are all symbolic reflections of RL. Each word we use is a symbol for a thing, concept, feeling, process, or relationship. Each image in our mind is a mental symbol for something real and each thought is a combination of these symbols. With symbols, we can do more with less. I can talk about singing, even though I cannot sing very well. I can describe a quark, even though I have never seen one. In the same respect, I can tell you what I know about my online "friends," even though I have never met them.