See the Man Behind the Curtain

Behind the CurtainIn pretty much every Hollywood movie known to man, only climactic and traumatic situations can force two dissimilar people to put aside their differences, in true Beatles, fashion and Come Together. The Avengers, Finding Nemo, Star Trek…take your pick. And this phenomenon is not just on the Silver Screen.

When trapped in your doctor’s waiting room, you usually don’t feel the urge to turn to your neighbor and confess your deepest desires. But when you’re stuck on an elevator with them for 12 hours, the dirty secrets emerge. The Internet has examined this concept, and decided that it shouldn’t take dire straits to make friends out of strangers.

And that’s because VirtuReality and Virality have become major power players. In reality, you probably wouldn’t tell that bored stranger you lived with your mother happily until you were 38, and even then only moved out because you were ruining her social life.

But online, as a blogger, commentator or spectator, you don’t have to pretend. You can give shape and structure and context to ideas that before you had to dismiss because you couldn’t capture them properly. Blogging is the outlet that allows people to harness the untamed nature of our thoughts and share them with whomever we choose.

We feel like superheroes: online we can be anybody. It’s the irresistible duality of shadows and spotlights, the chance to be both Superman and Clark Kent. Like too many margaritas at happy hour, the Internet lowers our inhibitions, makes us bold and confident, and sure that we have something to contribute to the general public.

We are now true individuals, characters, and influencers. Whether it’s a viral YouTube sensation, quotable meme, memorable tweet or any other such powerful trend, the Internet makes us the celebrities. We have the power to make or break careers, to help somebody’s star rise, to blow the whistle on any perceived wrongdoing.

Look at Karmin and her cover of Chris Brown’s “Look at Me Now,” Rebecca Black’s “Friday,” and Tosh.0. Or, on a more serious note, the Internet-encouraged activism and charity that propelled movements like Occupy Wall Street and provided an outlet to condemn ignorance, racism and misogyny. It is a vehicle for change.

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