I’m sitting in a café walled on one side by windows from floor to celling. Surprisingly I’m having a hard time seeing my computer screen because of the streams of sunlight coming through the windows. It feels good for the left side of my body to be hot from direct sunlight.
Strangely enough as people walk down the street next to me I cannot see any of their faces. The bar that runs the length of the wall of windows just happens to block my view of the face of every single person that walks by. So I stare out the windows at a faceless people. I was struck by the fact that as far as I was concerned these people had no identity without a face. Bodies without faces are nobodies. Had my wife changed her clothes she could have walked by and I would not notice. The mayor could have just passed and I’d never know the difference…all because I can’t see their face.
The Internet is a dangerous place for dialog because we cannot see people’s faces. Yes, maybe we have an icon that represents that person, but the person we’re actually in dialog with is a figment of our imagination. They are fictitious in every way as much as The Social Network’s take on Mark Zuckerberg is fictitious.
In life and online we prefer to deal with icons. Rather than making space to listen to you, to allow you to inform me about yourself I have preconceived ideas of who you are and what you’re about. An icon. We prefer to deal with representations of people than real people. Real people are complex while icons are simple.
My hope is to find enough peace and courage within myself to allow you to be a person in the fullest sense of the word. Yes I’ll still have my preconceived ideas about you, but am I willing to lay those down and allow relationship to reveal your face? For the love of Facebook I hope so.