The Perks of being an online ghost

The art of coming online with something integral to our life and communicating it to the world, to the future.

Congratulations! You’re here in a virtual world, constructed by algorithms, where we will be allowed to extend our life stories beyond our society and even after all our biological mechanisms ceases to function.

When I sit down to contemplate about my forefathers, I ponder about how they thought about life, community, progress, death, and many other aspects of human existence that might have some influence or inspiration or disposition on me, be it in fraction or majority. But unfortunately there are not many places to look for answers. They are all gone, and ancient graveyards let both bones and brains perish. If you don’t believe in after-life or sacred spirit that persists even after the termination of life mechanisms, you’re doomed. Yeah, quite mundane it is, but now there probably is an escape from being rendered to complete non-being by starving worms or burgeoning fire after our death: “uploading our brain to the internet.” Or becoming a Ghost 2.0. [1]

Photo Courtesy of Jamison McAndie

But the question is why should one upload their brain on the internet that is populating at a tremendous rate? Well, the choice is always there not to, but you can — the privilege that was not there before a couple of decades. The options to showcase your creativity, thought-process, philosophy, or anything are abundant. Be it just a social media post or an open-sourced repository, you can upload some fraction of your brain activities from a moment in space-time out there on the internet for someone or for no one. So what might be a possible limiting factor to reveal and grow yourself on the internet? Fear, maybe.

The fear of not being seen, not being heard, shared, celebrated, and being lost in oblivion especially in a digital world perhaps nags us all. However, I think we can choose not to be obsessive about instant attention, value, admiration, and impact. Perhaps years from now someone will access your “brain” online and will immensely be grateful that you had put it out there.

The primary focus, in my opinion, as a “uploader”, is to be attentive more about creation, rather than its reception. The reward coming far from a creator might not be appropriate in the first place, for an art must be an expression of the soul of a creator — that is quite idiosyncratic [2]. If your creation grants you sheer pleasure, the chance that it will enamor someone out there is above zero. Just put it out there.

One reason to come online with your intellectual power is to solve problems that bother you. The Internet comforts you with a discovery that many people are facing the same problems as yours. That’s not the point though. It will be an epiphany to find people that are willing to solve that very problem. Digitization of resources had decentralized opportunities in a way that the barriers to collaborate, participate and contribute are considerably less now compared to that of generations before. Sometimes it just takes two people engrossed in a problem to solve that problem for millions.

Once again, coming online is not about reaching millions. It’s about you, about us. It’s about us respecting ourselves. It’s about exploring the agitation and optimism that our brain generates now and then, being watchful about them, and being vulnerable enough to put those for public scrutiny. It is about uploading your brain’s space-time curvature that matters to you and that might end up solving someone else’s problem, giving someone hope, or amplifying/raising the voice of/for underprivileged. [3]

If I stop focusing on human ingenuity and creativity alone, I will take a diversion to acknowledge a fundamental part of humanity: storytelling. Storytelling might have started around the bushes of dense forests long ago, yet it took digital mediums to revolutionize our capacity to broadcast stories — to the people we have never met, to the people who don’t share our conditioning. Now it might take a vlog to make foreigners visit your local place, or just a post to start a fund-raising campaign.

I think it is a very good time to come online with your stories about aspirations, ecstasies, tragedies, and love. To upload some fractions of your life, some fractions of your thoughts [4]. To let other humans out there know that they are not alone in a voyage to get something, in a voyage to forget something.

[1] “The fact that I am developing something and leaving it behind gives purpose to my existence. I just want my job to be lived as long as the internet exists though I won’t.” Prashansha Kc

[2] “Art is made to inspire. Art gets reorganized with every generation. That’s the core quality of art that makes it so interesting to be part of. So, someone being inspired by my work is rather a natural process of art reorganization rather than subjective concern of mine. I have nothing but respect and encouragement for people who get inspired by arts.” Prashansha Kc

[3] “My motivation is to bring opportunities to the talented people who might be not aware of the opportunities that match their potential, breaking the stereotypes whereby privileged people or nepotism replace capable people.” Samaya Khadka

[4] “When I came to college, I did so many amazing things, and I had so many people to thank for, and verbal thanks during the moment didn’t feel like it was enough. I had graduated, and I studied branding and social media, and I thought combining my degree with my creative writing would be great for me emotionally, it would be a homage to everyone I wanted to thank, and it would be good for my portfolio building in digital marketing too.” Suraj Paneru on his motivation for blogging.

Thanks to Prashansha Kc, Samaya Khadka, and Suraj Paneru for providing their perspectives, reading the draft, and bringing this article to life.

A hitchhiker to the world of knowledge