Just when you’re nestling into your comfortable online environment, do you ever find reality making an unwelcome intrusion?
Reality can be so demanding and inflexible.
What’s the best way for managing it effectively to minimise its impact?
Here are my suggested top 10 reality management tools:
1. What do you do when people talk to you rather than email, message or send a DM? Don’t worry, speech is an amazing tool for developing a conversation in real time. Use your tongue, lips, jaw and other organs to produce words in a high quality audio format (currently incompatible with iTunes) that other people can receive via their ears. Quaint, although unlikely to replace the typed word.
2. Online is so clean. I mean, when was the last time you had to dust your web site? Reality is full of dirt, which often produces smells. This is where soap and water can help. Washing and showering can keep the smells away (unless you’ve eaten garlic, strong cheese, pickles or all three).
3. One of the most exhilarating yet scary aspects of reality is its live mode. Online you can reload, replay and edit stuff, but in live mode you only have one chance to get it right: copy, cut and paste options are not available. Use it well and life’s a breeze, but when it goes wrong there’s no ‘undo’. (The alternative to live mode is best avoided.)
4. It’s so easy to have thousands of friends online, even if you have no idea who they are. In the real world, you can attract friends instantly when you buy a round of drinks. Soon you’ll have as many friend as you do online, but you’ll still have no idea who they are.
5. Online you can schedule automatic status updates and tweet the same message every day, throughout the day. OK, you’ll annoy people but they can’t touch you. In reality, restraint can stop your incessant repetition of tedious sales messages and prevent a trip to Accident and Emergency for facial reconstruction.
6. Avatars don’t age, especially when you use a photo that is 10 or 20 years old. Unfortunately, some people are clever enough to realise this by comparing your real-life comb over hairstyle with the wavy locks of glossy hair in your online photo. One option is to wear a wig or toupee to retain that fine head of hair sported by your avatar.
7. Online you can ‘like’ something on Facebook and ‘+1’ it on Google to help your friends, even if you don’t like it. In reality you can really ‘like’ something and I mean ‘really’. After installing the emotion plugin, you’ll find ‘liking’ electric. You even have the option of upgrading to the pro love plugin, although this requires monthly credit card payments.
8. Blocking or unfollowing annoying people is not possible in reality: you can’t simply hide them from your timeline. Instead use excuse scripting. Because it sounds authentic, an effective excuse enables you to get away from someone annoying without risk of trauma for them or you. Note: excuses are likely to conflict with your ‘honesty’ settings.
9. To recharge a smartphone you plug it into the wall, but unfortunately your navel is not a USB charger port (that surprised even me!). Instead you have to eat. Eating is far less messy using cutlery. Use a knife to reduce food to bite-size pieces which you can spear with a fork to transfer to your mouth. Even cleverer, use a spoon to scoop up hot soup to avoid burning your fingers.
10. Eyelids and fingers are the answer when reality becomes too much to handle. Shut your eyelids to stop seeing and poke your fingers in your ears to block out external sounds. Cut off from reality, you can imagine being back in the safety of your virtual world and hope you return there fast.
So good luck when you venture into the real world and take care: there are many strange people offline.