Look at me, I’m a Modern Man. I do modern things, pushing buttons, clicking my mouse, downloading, uploading, sending data across the World Wide Web, getting crucial bulletins from cyberspace. How are things in Glocca Mora? Why speculate? Google it and see. When I leave my master console I’m still connected, iPhone at the ready, laptop handy in case I need to connect. I’m a Modern Man, hooked-up, wired in and on the grid. Where’s Waldo, you say? Let’s Google his skinny white ass too, see where he’s at. You can’t hide from us, we’re Modern Men, part of the hard-charging cyber patrol, sending, receiving, seeking, locating, scanning, deleting, updating, interacting!
You got questions? We got answers! And the answer is always wire yourself up more. Add more memory! Get the newest phone, it does everything! Get the new wristband computer while you’re at it, and use any surface for a touch screen! Talk to your car and tell it where you want to go, follow the Yellow Chip Road to your destination. Pay no attention to those puny humans behind the curtain, they matter not at all! The Great and Powerful Oz has no use for flesh and blood! Keep your eyes on the little electronic icon birdie! Stray not from the alternate reality we have created!
When you are a Modern Man, you are above the fray, far, far away from the emotionally draining demands of surly humanity. They are all around, these breathing, smelly, unpredictable people, with their head colds and their sniffles, their wants, their needs, their passion, their hunger, their troubles, their emotions and their alarming desire to touch and be touched and to speak unchecked, to challenge and prod! Yet, though they are everywhere, we need not face them and must not stoop to the ways of yesterday. To a Modern Man they might as well be on Mars! They are there, but not there. Invisible. You want to talk, do not approach the Modern Man! Interface with my devices, send me your profile, and don’t hog the megabytes with personal details. State your business, for the Modern man is busy! He’s got things to do, places to be, connections to make and you’re not invited. Modern Man walks alone.
You want my Modern Baby, I’ll donate my sperm, thank you, and we’ll get a nanny to raise to slobbering little lout until he’s a grown up Modern Man. I will text him my love, and we’ll play catch with e-mails. He will be an even more Modern Man, wired up in ways we can now only dream of. Computer chips and phone connections will be installed right into his brain, and his location will be known instantly, yet he will be aloof, self-contained and flying solo. He will be Cyber Man, as one with his video games, his cyberstreams of data and his virtual friends. He will not be touched.
He will interface with the world, never needing to travel, having no desire to see it for himself since the world will come to him in vivid digital images. The actual experiences and the sweat and the thrills have been obtained by others, and the results distilled to their digital essence. He will grow up knowing that the images are enough to become an expert without the effort, an encyclopedic authority on lands he has never seen, people he has never met, foods he has never tasted. And Modern Man will be proud of little Cyber Man and post his parental boasts on his virtual profile pages.
So let us celebrate our Modern Man status. Not in person, of course, not actually being together, speaking and touching and having uncontrolled conversations. That is the way of Unmodern Man, and we shun him and his backward ways. We will toast each other from the solitude of our consoles, and share data in cyberspace, maybe relate amusing stories via e-mail and electronic chat rooms and share digital photographs. We will not soil our fingers on newsprint and bound books that others have handled. Instead we will gain our information online, knowing it to be the full truth in convenient synopsis form.
We will be entertained digitally in real time or record our favorite diversions to suit our hectic schedules. We will read books in electronic format, as they were meant to be scanned, so long as they are short and to the point. The novel is yesterday’s art form, too long and too convoluted for Modern Man. His time is precious, the demands on his attention infinite. There is much to do, much to scan, many a website to be explored and forgotten. We will post our expert insights for others to heed, and monitor the entire world from our flat screens. Look at me, I’m a Modern Man doing modern things. I am here, yet not here, living at my web address and plying the ether highways. I am Modern Man and cannot be touched. Gaze upon my digital image.