Franciorlis Freitas Viana
When I heard that my friend Googlielmo committed suicide, I was amazed. So young, the boy! I had a whole life ahead of me …
At the funeral, his mother was mourning the death of the only begotten son; I noticed, however, that there were few people present at the wake; there were not twenty. Among them, a father, three maternal aunts, five cousins, an octogenarian grandmother, five bee-nosed neighbors, two passers-by who came to the place just for coffee and a friend (by the way, me).
The farewell ceremony was brief, if a choir of half a dozen butts singing the favorite soundtrack of eleven out of ten deceased, which is “held in the hand of God and go (…)” same, dear readers, that will most likely sound like yours too (look at the good side of it, at least you won’t be alive to watch the joke!).
At the end of that procession, I returned home like a wet, withered and silent bird. I ran to the computer in order to publish a posthumous tribute on the internet
to my friend Googlielmo. I accessed, like all cool young people, before anything Orkut; click here, click there and putz! I entered the page of Googlielmo, this name followed by the slogan “I love life!”; this was precisely the first paradox I noticed; Like
can someone who declares on the internet love life, commit suicide?
Then I noticed that Googlielmo had nine hundred and twenty-seven friends added. This was the second paradox I noticed; like someone who has nine hundred and twenty-seven friends on Orkut, at the funeral only had one gift?
I then realized that Googlielmo had one thousand four hundred and thirty-eight followers on Twitter, five hundred and six on Facebook and two hundred and seven contacts on Myspace! It is so strange that Googlielmo wrote in the farewell email (sent simultaneously to
all the virtual friends on your list) who left this cruel life for not living in solitude!
We must think that on social networking sites we have the facility to create so many characters for ourselves, so many “I’s” different from who we really are. See, I can become “Rodolfo, your soul mate” at ParPerfeito, I can be “Felipe, the catcher” on MSN; or who knows the next heteronym to appear on Chatroulette; I can be so many individuals that I am not, nor will I be, nor do I know where I came from! As in the Hollywood film “The Substitute”, which narrates a stage of humanity where people don’t even leave home anymore. They send a clone to do their tasks, while controlling them from the living room from a computer connected to their brains.
This makes it possible for a man to use a female clone, an adult to use a clone of an infant, the old to use a young clone, a fat man to use a thin clone, the skinny of an even thinner one, someone to use the clone of what is not for hide that the original, the controller, has become a nobody. This is what we usually type on the cold keys of notebooks, netbooks, ipads, and smartphones: substitutes.
We have reached a juncture that if you find me off the Web you will have a hard time believing that I was online with you on the chat! Even more so because in my profile I put a picture of a tall, blond guy, with a clean body and blue eyes, when personally I am pale, short, thin and cross-eyed.
Social networking sites should serve a greater purpose than just entertainment; perhaps as a means to find ourselves as beings in need of socialization, however, it has been used by some as emotional makeup,
breaking internal bridges.
We will reach the perfection of friendships, because nobody will be someone, because to be someone in fact is to have real defects and if I hide behind an illusory cybernetic figure, of course I will obscure my mistakes and mistakes, hence I say that we will have perfect friendships, because we will exclude the thing that causes more problems in friendships, which is precisely the friend, who brings with them their irritable habits, tastes and disagreements. I venture that not far from Apple’s most successful program will look something like “Friendperfect”; The
friend who will never let you down; but if there is any problem it comes with a factory warranty. It should be noted that the antivirus must be kept up to date.
Soon there will be no more real friendships, just modern software that creates holograms of friends – in fact, software with three memory sticks to store our outbursts as if they were nothing but data, easily deleted.
Poor Googlielmo! There were so many people on the internet to exchange scraps, but in life he lacked hugs, smiles and smiles. Simple gestures, but that even that American supercomputer by name Watson, winner of television contests, is unable to reproduce.
- I take this opportunity to leave my message to Watson, who at this hour must be proud of his achievement: overcoming the human species is not such a difficult task (there is nature with its inclement weather, as an example). Difficult, dear Wat (can I call you that? I challenge you to nickname me also with a loving nickname), it’s a branch to reach out to a loser and lift him off the ground – out of curiosity, Watson, if your inventor falls with heart disease at your side, and there is no one around, can you help him?
(I know you can, in a fraction of a second, list all the remedies in the most remote lands), but what I want to know is if you can put your hands on your technologist’s chest and give him a massage … you have no hands.