There is no greater pain than…well, pain. Emotional pain can be longer lasting than physical pain in some cases. Even then, the handicapped and disabled still suffer from severe depression. When we experience an emotional wound it can stick with us for years, and without proper counseling is can damage the psyche for life.
Our digital lives, or presence online, is governed by intellect. We have to determine what we want and how we interact with things. We decide the level of commitment we want to give to whatever subject currently holds our attention. Sometimes that dedication can be total.
The urge to have a digital presence is increasing. Some say that you don’t exist without one. Others believe that a digital presence is necessary for success in the modern world. There are countless guides to creating a strong digital presence. Why do we need to invest in it though? What is SO important about having a consistently monitored and tailored online persona that acts as a surrogate in the world wide web?
Interaction. We need presence in the world to represent ourselves. Instant messaging is the quickest way to communicate. Email addresses created an easy way for people across the world to interact. Phone numbers made communication over hundreds or thousands of miles a breeze. The telegraph could transmit someone’s words over a wire to another side of the continent. Street addresses allowed mail to be delivered without someone leaving their own house. And, possibly the earliest example, we have names. Names allow individuality. Names define us from another person. The digital world is just the next frontier of communication. Instead of travelling with planes, trains, and automobiles we type. One set of keystrokes can take up the time of someone literally on the other side of the planet. Hell, you can take up the time of someone in orbit.
We can affect someone’s life dramatically and instantly without ever seeing them. It is a brave, new and wonderful world that is at its dawn. We can help people who are feeling suicidal. Solve crimes that would take hours and days for one man. The internet can even band together to solve mysteries that people in the physical world had difficulty with.
Unfortunately, every good thing has the underbelly covered in filth. The dark to the light. The scratched side of the coin to the not scratched side of the coin. Every internet Avengers has the Cyber Masters of Evil.
All analogy aside, part 2 of this feature will go into the damage that can be done to someone in the physical world by attacking them in the cyber world.