Cyberworld: It Impacts Us

In the quiet hours of the early morning, I reflect on my day in cyberspace. It is a day filled with surprises, emotions, and reflection. My mind seems to accelerate as I view the day and its experiences. How can I describe how powerful I find the medium of print?

Initially, let me share the joy and angst of surprises one can experience on the net and the chats. We all appear as strangers, full of our own experiences and needs...vulnerable, yet hopeful. As our time expands, we are surprised to meet other strangers who are like us....strangers who are very different from us, and strangers who will touch our lives deeply. The strangers who are like us immediately attract our attention...they share gender, experience, interests, philosophy, bonds which, good or bad, make us one. The strangers who are different from us attract the more adventuresome...they may be from different lands, different experiences, interests and philosophies. And yet we are surprisingly attracted to the new knowledge they bring to our lives. We who thirst for a deeper understanding of mankind are often drawn to the differences. Finally the strangers who will touch our lives deeply can be drawn from either category. They insinuate or explode into our view and must be reckoned with. The experiences may surprise and even shock us, but will not leave us the same. These strangers make us aware of the magical mysteries we had either forgotten or had never even fathomed. Surprise! You feel warmth, passion (either love or hate), and yes even a spiritual connection just short of religion.

It is impossible to discuss cyberspace without reliving the emotions we feel as we are touched by its events and its participants. Emotions such as love, hate, trust, fear, awe, and the experience of pleasure as well as pain. The events include everything from aids awareness to freedom of speech and expression. They make us FEEL! Often they make us ACT or get involved in the process of change. We cannot just remain passive, something will pull us in and touch us deeply.

Ah and the participants, watching the players is truly amazing. But more important than watching is participating. If we engage, we will feel emotions long forgotten or new and raw. Either way we will be the richer for the experience. We can feel as much or as little as our tender vulnerable spirits will let us feel. But if we allow ourselves to FEEL, we will never be the same because if anything changes, everything changes. And so we will touch and be touched of as many levels as we can and will allow. The one truth that cannot be denied is that we will be affected and will affect others.

Reflecting back on the day, I am so moved by the events and the participants, that I have laughed, cried, loved, hated, trusted, feared and been in awe of the medium the power of the written word. Friendships have deepened, sorrows have been shared, anger has been vented, new alliances have been formed and others have been severed, but no one leaves the same as they came. Even the reflection process changes perceptions and realities.

It is not without awe that as I review my day in cyberspace, I am reminded of the surprises, the emotions, and the reflections that have combined their impact and and forever altered my total experience and awareness. We may touch many or few and be touched accordingly, but we cannot remain the same for the daily experiences. The power of the written word is simply not to be denied. The immediate feedback compresses time and matter into a microcosm of the universe and we are...somehow...different for the experience.

Michelle Epperson

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This article is Copyright © 1996, Michelle Epperson. Thanks, Michelle, for a great submission!