Jack Sparrow and the Web: between anonymity and reality; because one life is not enough

| a cura di

By Lucia Montauti and Filippo Tognola

Once we used to use mIRC or discussion forums: anonymous environments, where the alias could be the complete opposite of the reality. Today with social network sites, such as FaceBook, fantasy and reality are merging and we have new frontiers opened by social geo-locaters which are entering deeper into the privacy of users.

It is a “Big Brother” trend where you can intercept tastes, movements, interests, combining personal and professional life, celebrity and private life, reality and fiction.

To create a false identity responds to the need for anonymity that FaceBook initially removed. This need has existed within each user since the very arrival of the Internet. The surprising thing is that it is forbidden, as it is also forbidden to register a business as a regular user instead of creating a fan page or a group, and none of this is in any way blocked. Reports of misuse have no effect and as a result FaceBook is full of frauds.

It should become more secure, while maintaining a high level of privacy with continuous supervision, but this would not satisfy the users’ need to be free to express themselves and play.

The “game”, the role-play, the escapism drives up user numbers, so many real users have more profiles, more "lives" we might say, with similar or opposite characteristics but in different “choreographies”.

But, all this role-play isn’t this what kids do? If it is natural and fun, how can it be wrong? If the need is so widespread how can it be a mistake?

Fiction, in part or in whole, in good or bad faith, is maybe even sometimes better than reality, or perhaps just different and it is something that occurs in real life, whatever “real life” means today.

The role-play game that we live at work or in the family is transferred to the Net, where it can, in fact, be expressed to an even greater extent.

This need corresponds to what we actually live in reality and so there is no more fiction on the Net than there is in everyday life, during a meeting, in forced greetings or during a family lunch.

However, behind pictures and words one’s true nature expresses itself, whatever we do on the Web is only what we do on real life: for example, if we pretend on the Web we likely pretend in real life, if we communicate poorly or well on the Web we likely do the same in real life.

We can create a false identity, but we cannot be who we aren’t, we can try to pass ourselves off as VIPs but we can’t change the way we communicate.

On the Internet the character emerges more than in real life because with no physical presence there are no preconceptions, no apologies to make for what or who we are. The Net doesn’t forgive.

A healthy escape from reality, that sometimes becomes too suffocating, to become a fictional character for a few minutes a day, to quote the sentences of a film and share the enthusiasm, and then become another thing a moment later occurs because the Net is a network of chameleons , so many people following group interests and dreams, sharing them and then going off to imagine another.

Everyday life limits creativity so we see, with increasing velocity, the rise of dozens of Jack Sparrows: people who dress as a pirate interpreting and expanding upon the big screen characters, underlining its success. These people are the new visionaries, writers of new screenplays, small and new worlds where Jack actually lives.

The Cinema, the Net, Real life, as we have understood “Real Life” until recently, are merging into something unique and many of these Jacks, many profiles, are actors and authors who bring the big screen on the Web and make it come to life.

One life is not enough; once, writers drinking absinthe created and "saw / interpreted" the characters of their books, they entered their work, living more than one life. Today the Net allows many more people in much less time to dream and create and dream again, not in monologue but interacting with others.

The Great Conversation brings magic to life, “bit magic” that takes us to enchanted places. It is important not to forget daily life and, indeed, enrich it with everything we have created with new thoughts and words.

Along with Jack, hundreds of people "live" double and triple lives, fall in love on the Net and dream, starring in their own new stories together.

So thanks to all the Jacks who live him in their own way, who give something of themselves as they act out the part, thanks to the characters who tell us about themselves but leave the door open to personal interpretation, thereby creating a shared life in which everyone can add to it or modify it.

And thanks to the Black Pearl and a compass that doesn’t point north: the means to sail. Means that are eternally “courted”, because sometimes you can lose the Black Pearl (life) and then you regain it, and therein lies its true value.

This will be, is already, the new way of publishing, fragmented on the Net, accessible anytime and anywhere, made up of the thoughts and words of many people.

Our attachment to a concrete reality is healthy when it allows us to be consistent with ourselves and make the most of what we're capable of, but for many people this is difficult to reach and, fundamentally emotions are Life, enabling us to live a dream, they are our lifeblood.

Being linked to consumerism and role-play is nothing more than an attempt to escape, to be real is to be able to try to achieve something with the resources we have. The Net has “caught” us because it crystallizes the strong need that many people have to live detached from substitute emotions, the need to switch off a bit from things, from roles, from the “detail” of a life sometimes too "rational" and barely "felt" ... like drifting slowly away from the shore.

Apart from extreme cases of those swallowed by the Net, we are more than the sum of only one life and the need to express it is far-reaching, being in touch with our dreams is important, we have ignored it for too long choked by neck-ties and trapped in shops, closed in roles and expectations.

Real life is the goal that many are trying to reach, with the means granted to them, it is something that binds us to our most intimate being and is unleashed by dreams, personalities, ideas, words.

The Great Conversation, which binds us all, represents a new way to express what we are. It is important to find the magic made up of random and unexpected encounters, to rediscover what makes each of us to fly and what can create a common flight, a viral, infectious one.

The question is not who we are and where we want to go but what we feel intimately and what we are capable of communicating today.

Highly critical and negative attitudes are taking a gloomy color, the light that's behind a cartoon, a new idea, a dream we now feel on the skin.

Until now, many solutions and situations have created monsters to attract those who could fight them, creating groups against something; now there is a desire to act, to laugh, to investigate, to live more. An attitude that is separating the world into two large groups.

It is not fiction, every word in the Net hides ability. We can only lie superficially so we are not really capable of lying, just to live.

A single soul, a thousand faces

Thanks Jack, whoever you are ...