Oltre la foresta nera

Ieri mi sono imbattuto in questo interessante post e conseguente teoria. Su come l’Internet sia profondamente cambiato e per chi, come me, c’è dall’inizio delle prime interazioni online determinate da piattaforme sia complicato ritrovare se stessi in una dimensione ormai impazzita.

When I used the internet as an actual adolescent in the 1990s and as a young adult in the 2000s, this wasn’t the case. I blogged everyday. Message boards were how I learned to test theories and debate ideas. These communities were small enough that people knew each other, but big enough that there was diversity of opinion and conversation. You could vehemently disagree with someone about politics in one thread while agreeing just as passionately with them about movie sequels in another.

I had no problem being myself online then. But now it feels different. 

A lot of this difference is on me. I’m older. I have more at stake. But it’s not just me that changed. The internet did too. The internet went from a venue for low stakes experimentation to the place with some of the highest stakes of all. With the rise of online bullying, shaming, and even swatting, the internet became emotionally, reputationally, and physically dangerous. It became the dark forest. Our digital selves became evidence that could and would be used against us. To keep safe we exercised our right to stay silent and moved underground.

Internet è diventata una foresta nera, complicata da discernere e comprendere, difficile, per chi la abita, districarsi ed essere sé stessi.

Un tema a me assai caro. E diretta conseguenza dell’avvento sei social network, dove l’apparire conta più dell’essere. Ed essere sé stessi diventa una faccenda tremendamente complessa. Io ho adottato una soluzione simile a chi ha scritto il post.

Scrivere quotidianamente, sul blog, per me è una medicina fenomenale per essere sempre di più e apparire sempre di meno.

There’s tremendous value in coming into yourself as a person. Why wouldn’t that be true online, too? Recognizing that my online self was lacking, I made a commitment to learn how to be myself on the internet.

I started with a simple exercise. For one week, I would tweet twice a day. (Normally I tweet about once a month.) I wouldn’t try to impress or be cool. I would try to be real and share what was actually on my mind. 

The next step in my digital self-acceptance was to try sharing my dark forest self with the larger internet. After sending my last email about the dark forest, I posted it on Medium. I wasn’t expecting a response, but the piece blew up. In the last two weeks, more than 100,000 people read it around the world. 

The dark forest theory struck a chord. And it’s no wonder: many of us struggle to be ourselves online. We’re wary of showing who we really are outside our dark forests. But we’re also learning there are trade-offs. Our dark forests can become black domains with little connection or influence on the outside world.