intro – the dual human or are we one?
Nobody taught us how to live in what appears on the surface to be two worlds.
But are we living in two worlds? Or one new and unfamiliar one?
Someone with dual citizenship literally lives in two distinctly different countries with their own topography, languages, cultures, customs. But these two countries are not fundamentally different worlds. One planet. One world. Many countries and cultures.
Someone living with split roles in their lives may feel like they are living in two worlds. We split ourselves up and “toggle” between our work lives and our home lives. We might feel like we are living in two worlds, and yet both states of being, both parts of our lives, are grounded in a single world. One life.
But when we are living digitally, we seem to think or feel that we are traveling to another planet. We constantly look at our online and offline activities as either online or offline, as two different ways of being. We split our time, we split our selves, and struggle to connect these separate spaces of online world versus offline world. Some of us even classify this struggle as trying to find a balance between our “virtual world” and our “real world.” And yet what is online is no less real than what online. Or is it?
Nobody is teaching us how to live this new word or how to stop thinking of the online and offline worlds as so separate as to create conflict and struggle. This book looks to explore these perceived dualities and attempt to bring them into one world, one life, one way. This book offers ways to adapt to what amounts to a new world and not a separate one. Are you open to a fresh way of thinking about your self in this new world?
are you a dual human?
Are you the same person online as you are offline? Most people are some semblance of their “real world” selves in the online world, however, many people admit that they take liberties, that they tend to do things online that they would never do off. Their online persona might be a more assertive or aggressive self, expressing things that they might never reveal face to face. They might be more creative, take more risks, feel more reckless. Why does interacting digitally give some people license to role-playing or even to behaving badly?
Nobody is really quite sure what rules apply to a world of bits and bytes. Are we supposed to behave differently when we are interacting digitally? How are we supposed to behave? What cultural references should we use? How do we stop thinking in separate terms and embrace the digital as are children are embracing it?
When we visit another country, we may try to speak another language, but we are essentially ourselves in a strange, new place. When we are online, we may need to learn a new or at least modified language, but that doesn’t change who we fundamentally are, does it? Should it?
We may have the ability to be someone totally different than who we “normally” are in our every day lives – but how does that impact our psyche and our lives? Who is that other person or being? Is it an extension of ourselves or a splitting off of ourselves? Is it sometimes us but other times a new us? Or should we not be thinking of ourselves as split apart and instead the same, whole person moving through one space, one world, one life?
If we are more fragmented when we go online, we must have some kind of framework to keep those pieces together. If who we are is so different online than off, we need a road map or guide to finding our way back to ourselves. We need to understand what living digital does to not only our bodies and brains but to our minds, hearts and souls.
If there is one world, one life – not either/or, not offline/online, not virtual/real – then perhaps being someone who you are not when you go online creates problems in our lives and in our world.
a different approach to technology
If we approach digital and non-digital as parts of one and the same, no separation, no splitting off, no dichotomy, then perhaps we will be in a better place, a more peaceful and harmonious state of being.
This book explores different states of being digital – what we think of as good and bad ones, positive and negative ones, and without judgement asks questions, clears paths, shares practices, and identifies the spaces where we can find more peace and less chaos in the breakneck speed of our digital lives.
This book also examines digital communities, blogs, microblogs, social networks, virtual worlds and other online places and spaces where we spend our time communicating and interacting with others using more holistic principles to find more harmony in our over-saturated, over-stimulated, over-informed lives.
There is no split. There are no separations. The stress we feel over technology often stems from perceiving a cold separateness instead of a warm, single whole. In trying to put digital “over there” and apart from who we are and what we do, we miss the reality that technology is an integral aspect of our lives in this day and age changing everything familiar into something new. You may not like it, but you cannot always avoid it. So if you cannot avoid it, how do you manage it well?
What do you think?