It's not too often that someone whom I know only virtually passes away, and leaves enough of an impact to make it actually worth dedicating a post to it. And here is one such person:, known for his provocative obsession with genitalia, cynicism, and irony. But what makes his death unique is not just a personal virtual connection: it is notable that a community of virtual acquaintances – and a damn intelligent one at that – respond precisely as one might respond to an actual, in-person relationship, only on a digital medium.
If you take a look at the attached post and the comment discussion contained within, you'll see elements of relationship and reaction that are, perhaps, unusual for an online environment:
– personal concern, to the point of checking in with the police as to what's going on
– group collaboration to figure out what happened
– reflection on that person's life and of each other's experiences and encounters with the deceased
– people who have not heard from each other for some time congregate together again – as an old saying goes, there are three events when people gather: birth, marriage, and death.
… really, except for the distances and media, there are quite a few elements that make online relationships just as intense as offline ones.
Yet at the same time, there are immense differences: without the in-person touch, tone, gesture, and expression experiences, limited communication heightens the potential for misunderstandings and misinterpretations. The digital environment makes communication even more ambiguous than ever before. But is ambiguity really a difference? We have enough ambiguity in daily language, and misunderstand each other often enough even before the additional challenges of the digital medium.
Surely, there are differences. And surely, many people take online and offline relationships differently. Yet, as the linked post demonstrates, true relationships still remain the same at their essence – regardless of whether they are online, offline, or both.
Originally shared by +Eileen O’Duffy
Yes, it is possible to have genuine online friends, we miss you Dieter
Two years ago, played an experiment where he deleted his G+ account in order to show the superficial nature of online friendships and what he called the ‘big data cow’. His experiment failed miserably when scores and scores of people contacted him to know was he okay and to come back and join us again.
Sadly, Dieter has departed for good this time. In true Dieter style, and in his own words he has stage managed his own death. I’ve no doubt he is above there now looking down at us all and smiling, but I’m sad we didn’t get a chance to say goodbye. I hope Dieter has finally found the rest he desired.
When you can read this it means I have successfully departed from this Planet. In the Spirit of Nietzsche and the Stoics I have chosen to end what would have ended some Day anyway.
24. November 2014 somewhere around 5:00 am – when all the Plebs were sleeping and the Night and it’s Silence were mine.
Since I have written many Books, Tens of Thousands Articles, Posts, Comments and Essays I can’t think of anything I haven’t typed before many T…