EVER since I woke up from a
nightmarish dream to find myself back into the world of the 'single being'
or 'being single', one of the few 'pleasures' which couldn't wait to
outlive its welcome is TIME. I
remember bitching often, about having no time for anything else--to take a
vacation, to read a good book, and much less time to explore something
new--like learning the workings of the Internet and 'surf the Web'. In
spite of having spent 20 years in the information system industry, I was
dangerously ignorant of (what was then, and still is) a quickly emerging
As a way to combat the boredom that I suddenly found myself in, I decided to
explore the workings of the internet by creating a personal website. I
found a lot of tools which made the effort a breeze, but my problem was
deciding on its content. Then I stumbled on this fascinating
phenomenon on the internet that seems to be affecting a lot of
If necessity is the mother of invention,
I'm sure boredom must play a major role in the re-inventing of one's self....
It was simply amazing.
As businesses were scrambling to hang up their own
'virtual shingles' and e-commerce storefronts, I found a growing number of
individuals and/or families who are publishing personal diaries and
journals online. Proud “here-i-am-itude” entries on their web
pages—openly talking of love, anger, humor, or pain to an eager
collective and faceless audience. What they hold so dear in private have
now found a niche, and taken on a new cyber form, infused with the
creative energy andfascinating
personalities of its authors, the 'netizens' who comprise its .
Another equally fascinating part about it, is the
seemingly positive-contagious feelings of camaraderie and
quiet-subdued rivalry that hold these participants—authors and readers
alike. There is an honesty which pervades it, an openness which is
oblivious to mockery and rejection....
In these days of studies and polls and surveys, I
have yet to read one, which tried to address this intriguing phenomenon.
The nagging question seems to be:“WHY?"
What emotion stirs and motivates these people to rip open their
protective facade and feel compelled to bare open their hearts and soul to
The reasons are as different as they are personal. So given the
subjective meaning why even bother to find out? For me personally, I am
curious whether there is a common pattern--even some underlying force that
attracts or compels a great many people to share very personal experiences
In trying to explain my reasons, I couldn't help but draw from two years spent
studying various philosophical disciplines in college as taught by Jesuits.
those, I felt closely identified by the ideas of Socrates ("the
unexamined life is not worth living..."). And having been
brought up in a deeply religious family, the profound writings of French
Christian existentialist Gabriel
Marcel, which centers around "The Mystery of Being"
and the phenomenology of primary and secondary reflection, were
I have spent a lot of time in serious thought and reflection of my
experiences. Most were like a "post-mortem
analysis", a term I used not for its morbid implication, but more for
its objective of finding "cause & effect" and "lessons
learned". I never really understood before just what Marcel meant in
describing the process of secondary reflection, but my post-mortems are
clearly what Marcel refers to as primary reflection. Some were loud,
talking-to-myself thoughts. Most were quiet, soporific meditation. But a
few seemed like whispered, from without as well as within, sort of like
that of a still, small voice.
What I also discovered was that when I wrote them down
consistently, they were not as easy to forget. Perhaps in writing them
down, I have given them some form. In trying to articulate them, I have
made them available for further debate and examination. Someone referred to it as "writing letters to myself",
and it helps me to make sense of things. It enables me to
keep things in perspective, and it helps me attain my mental
So then, this would be why I am here.
I am joining the cast of thousands in this drama of life playing on
this new venue. I am joining the thousands of people who wear their hearts on their
sleeve in this brave new world. A kind of world I only dreamed about
as a kid growing up, or the kind that existed only in my mind, or my imagination--a
virtual world just like the World Wide Web, the cyberspace, in which we
find ourselves today....
I know it feels a little weird at first, but when you start to
realize what this new world is all about, and the kind of freedom it
offers, (or at least an escape to self-imprisoned souls), then perhaps you
too, can find some measure of fulfillment that such a voyage of
self-discovery can provide....