Cybersoul. I came across this term when trying to pinpoint exactly what cyberspace was. I quickly realised that it’s just one of those things that us mere mortals can’t get our heads around, like infinity, or the ever-expanding nature of space; we know it exists and we know it’s complex, and that’s about all we know. I will, however, come back to the term cybersoul, but will need to give at least some vague context surrounding cyberspace first.
Cyberspace is almost indefinable. It is a layer built upon the Internet, a result of the Internets success, but not a word that can be used synonymously with it. The Business Dictionary puts it nicely; cyberspace is ‘the electronic equivalent of the human psyche (the ‘mindspace’ where thinking and dreaming occur)’. It’s intangible and a sort of virtual reality realm.
Now time for the cybersoul talk.
Despite having discovered this word on Urban Dictionary, the entire concept surrounding it intrigued me. With every physical, real world person, there is a cybersoul that makes up who they are. As childish and bizarre as this idea seems, we all know it’s true. Why do we often engage more easily with strangers online rather than face-to-face? Why does it almost feel liberating to use the Internet? Why is it that my incredibly shy cousin won’t say a word to me at lunch, but will lather me with compliments later that night on Facebook?
I think my cybersoul can enlighten you.
I believe that we all have cybersouls deep inside of us, disguised as virtual alter egos. They’re still you (most of the time), but are often more charming, confident and charismatic; essentially they are the improved version 2.0 of you.
Thanks to social media, we can be whoever we want to be. With one fake email address, or a specially crafted avatar, I can turn myself into anything, or anyone. At the end of the day, every social media platform provides us with a stage to broadcast ourselves from, so we attempt to curate the most successful and attractive projection of who we desire to be. Lessig details cyberspace as a way to escape ‘to a different world where the norms of civility and decency that governed outside his dorm room (or the outside world) did not reign’. Here Lessig is talking about a young mans desire to escape his mundane life in Ann Arbor, to a more luxurious and exotic life right from his dorm. This is more than possible to do with the Internet at hand. Cyberspace allows you to become somebody else in another world, whilst living your real life simultaneously. The amazing part, is having the ability to ‘live in a world where we can occupy both sorts of space at the same time’ (Lessig, 2006); both the real world, and the cyber world.
- 2014, Cyberspace, Business Dictionary, viewed 9 August 2014, <http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/cyberspace.html>
- Javera 2008, Cybersoul, Urban Dictionary, viewed 9 August 2014, <http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=cybersoul>
- Lessig, L. (2006). Four puzzles from cyber space. In L. Lessig Code version 2.0