Smudges On The Looking Glass

There’s a lot I could write about, a lot I could tell you, but there’s very few words that would be able to express them. I’m not going to point the finger at language, but rather at communication, particularly how crippled ours seems to be. Don’t you find it strange that over the past 5 years mobile phones have become capable of most functions of a household PC, yet call quality remains somewhere around the same. At least in terms of a user’s experience.

We get caught up so easily in tweaking what was meant to serve one single purpose, giving it all sorts of functionality, yet undermining its actual purpose. How often do you use your mobile phone for the pure intention of communication? Of course it comes in handy, it makes life so much easier, but is that really how you’d like to go on thinking the rest of your life? Why depend on these little tweaks, when humans have lived without any of them for so long? Were we never really living before?

Over the past week I’ve experienced culture-shock, simply observing it take place from the second-person perspective, and it seems like it would happen quite often in this country. That is of course if more of the population actually bothered looking around and experiencing the myriad of cultures and ways of life scattered about this little island, though concentrated heavily in certain parts, it’s not always completely unfamiliar. Everyone knows at least one unreasonably conservative person, or an extremist, and all the other kinds that are not so kind. Yet to experience them in a concentrated dose, when you’re surrounded by these people, it is you who feels like another kind, you’re the freak.

It’s like going to the circus and finding yourself center-stage, spotlight glaring down at you, striking the contrast that will set you apart from everyone else, pointing the finger that will stick the label across your forehead. Different. It’s not a particularly good feeling. And I’m not even talking about my own experience in this case, but it’s not like I haven’t experienced it as well. I’ve just grown accustomed to it. Every time I visit my hometown, I’m required to wear a different face, which sardonically is supposed to make me less different. It’s sickening, and I fight it as much as I can, within the lines of reason, but there’s only so long you can go on fighting till you just have to give in.

Caving never feels good, but come on, it’s not like you don’t. Most people cave in early on in their lives, some fight through their adolescence only to settle down as adults, while others might to do so at any point in their lives where it’s just too much to handle. Few resist till their last breaths, a very, very few. I don’t know if I’ll be able to do that, I already feel like I’m caving in right now, little by little, till one day it may take me by surprise. I’ve been told of those who’ve been through many different experiences that revolve around this, but it’s mostly because they simply can’t communicate who they really are to the outside. Either because the outside refuses to accept it, or cannot understand it, along with other reasons and variables of course. But these two are up there on the list pretty high.

It’s sad, considering how far we’ve come in terms of communication technology. The internet is a vast source of information, and a gateway into other cultures and ways of life, but there are restrictions. These restrictions don’t necessarily exist within the internet, or even on your PC, they exist within your mind. Human beings have a tendency to limit themselves, usually justified by either religion, or reason, and this hinders that process of communication. You say things you’ve been told are right to say, and you hold to yourself what you feel is right. You lie to others, basically, and lie to yourself by denying the communication of that truth. Eventually it does become the truth, at least as far as you or the other is concerned. And the truth is that you cave. You sad, sad caveman.

 

You have to put on more faces to pretend who you are.
– Nell Carter

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