Virtual Reality Bullshit

Jess Smith – my anonymous Facebook account – is no more, as of this morning.

Deleting the account was easier than I thought it would be.  Saying a mental goodbye to some people I had met along the way not so. One in particular.

I never had a photo on that profile – in fact this was the photo I elected to have:


It was tongue in cheek, I had noticed how everyone put their best photo as their profile pic (me included in my real account) and it had amused me to realise how vain we are.

Part of the reason why I didn’t want to put a photo was because I wanted to explore myself and my relationship with the world, the Facebook one at least, without any sexual distraction.

I wanted me to be engaged with for my brain rather than my physique.

And indeed it worked. For a while anyway. Funny how everything can change when you “see” someone. It has been my experience anyway.

There was someone who I connected with like I had never before. Every posts of his interested me, made me think, made me want to contribute. Our exchanges via our contributions on each other’s posts were always enlightening (to me anyway, of course I can’t speak for him), we “discussed” things rather than debated them, it was very refreshing – I have found most people get very defensive when you question their views or opinions, and I guess me included (but I am learning). With him, there was never any tension, everything just seemed to flow in perfect harmony. I had never experienced this before. I got hooked.

A couple of days ago he asked privately who I really was, and so I explained, saying I was happy to be honest with him about who I was, even offered a photo so he could put a face to a name. I had realised it was a bit unfair for me to know what people looked like and them not to “see” who they were talking to. The thing is, I had no agendas, so it really didn’t matter to me what people looked like, I was more interested in their intellect.

Still, photo got sent, and everything changed. For me anyway.

I had felt “safe” in this connection as I had seen the guy was married. I am not an idiot, I understand how easily people can be attracted to each other in this virtual reality and I was keen to avoid this, because I also understand how virtual all this is.

Virtual attachments give you an escapism from reality I am not keen on, especially when it comes down to attraction. You can never get the full picture of someone until you meet them in person, and several times – that lesson I learned from my internet dating days.

Unfortunately, after sending the photo, some flirting ensued – I also found out he wasn’t “happily married”. Disappointingly, it turned out he is one of those people who are in a pay off relationship – not happy but staying because, for now, he doesn’t think he has any other options, or options he isn’t keen on (aloneness).

And that changed everything for me.

I have witnessed enough relationships being rocked by virtual escapism, or people who don’t think they have much of a choice – in fact, I will always feel grateful to my husband to have had the courage to end our marriage. I wish he had involved me in the decision when he came to that conclusion about a year before he actually finished with me, but still, at least we both had a chance at happiness again after that – admittedly, he had moved on to my best friend (in his head at least) by the time he announced his decision to me, and it took me a good four years to find my balance again, however I always admire people who have the courage of their convictions – being “I am not happy and I need to do something about it”. Not: I will escape my reality until I am ready to face it.

I know it’s a natural behaviour, however, to me, for me, it is no longer acceptable. I have lived in escapism mode most of my adult life and six months ago, I decided enough.

And since then my reality has got better and better, because I no longer bullshit myself.

However, the pay off is I have little patience for people who do now. I do understand though, of course I do, but I want no part in it.

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