Sophie has a notion to create the ultimate selfie. She arranges her surroundings. She places her tools and prepares herself. When the scene is set, she snaps a self-portrait with her mobile phone and uploads it to Facebook. Reactions trickle, then flood into cyberspace. People comment and share, like and object. A friend races across town – hurrying against real time, in the real world.
I connected with a friend on Facebook. I learned about her hopes and dreams, her fears and fantasies, long before we met in person. I knew where she liked to go, and who she liked to go there with. I knew what she looked like before we sat at the same table, and drank wine. On social media, her revelations were colourful and unabashed; I had been bothered by their frequency, confused by their frankness. They tugged at my equilibrium; I felt like a voyeur. Then, we met. Immediately, we plunged into rich conversation. It roved and rambled, unrestrained. Hours later, we hugged, surprised, I think, that we’d each discovered someone who might, now, become one of our lives’ navigation points. I left our first meeting, enriched. Knowing I would one day hurry across real distance in real time, if needed, for this flesh and blood person. Something I never dreamed I might one day do, for the cyber-woman I had known. #Selfie is about cyberspace, what lives there, and what doesn’t. It’s a reflection on social media’s e-seduction of our thinking, and our souls.
Where can I read it?
Murder and Machinery. Published by Black Beacon Books (France) (forthcoming).