Saturday, September 09, 2006

Only Souls

“Only souls” is the idea that people communicating via the internet can’t see or hear each other; thus it is like souls communicating. This sort of thing strips away everyone’s bias due to age, attractiveness, etc. and leaves only the message itself.

I thought that was a really cool idea, even though it came from a commercial. And once upon a time I think it was true in chat rooms like “Yahoo instant messenger.”

At least at one point (back in MY time the internet was betterer, young’un!), you could go into a chat room about physics and sometimes even talk about physics! What’s more, you could expect to actually talk to someone – or at least appear to be talking to someone.

These days, if you try to go to a chat room on YIM, you are a) likely to see no activity at all and b) you will get messaged from a hawt, 18 year old model who lives in Nevada and charges by the hour. Furthermore, you cannot create your rooms anymore – it’s whatever they have available and that’s it!

I think it’s sad that this sort of communication has gone away. It was nice to be able to talk to people about anything you wanted to at any time of the day or night. Somehow it made the world a less lonely place.

To be fair, chat rooms were still pretty vacuous. I remember once asking what I thought was a profound question and getting only silence (metaphorically speaking) back. After a bit, a participant chimed in with “anyone know of a good web browser?” If “only souls” were communicating, then there were a lot of banal souls out there.

Maybe this is just another sign that I’m growing old, though I’ve been 20 for quite a few years now. Maybe it’s just nostalgia for better times that never were. Maybe I just miss other souls.


No comments: