Partial invisibility

 You have a secret superpower: the ability to appear and disappear at will. When and where will you use this new superpower?

As a sociology student I have a tendency to view things from a sociological perspective. I associate the concept “visibility” with one’s ability to access and depart the digital world. Manuel Castells, a renowned sociological theorist from Barcelona once wrote about a network society: the distinctive feature of the modern time. The elements of the social world (i.e. people, institutions, enterprises, etc.) act as interconnected nodes that converge into a network. The existence of individual nodes are supplementary but not absolutely necessary. In other words, as individuals who are members of a network society, we have the ability to appear and disappear in the digital world. With that we achieve partial invisibility. My experience with Facebook illustrates this idea. When school started on September 9, 2013, I decided to de-activate my Facebook account. I figured I should get rid of all possible distractions so I could focus on my studies. When I re-activated my account just a few days ago, my best friend immediately messaged me saying: “You disappeared from Facebook, but I see that you’re back!” Evidently, Facebook was my only link to the social world vis-a-vis digital world. Through social media I may appear and disappear at will.

 

And so it begins…

There are a plethora of things a girl could preoccupy herself with. It is only a matter of whether or not she will make productive use of her time. Today is the first weekday of study break before final exams. Needless to say, I am not mentally ready to immerse myself back into studying. The so-called “hell week” just finished and I am still in the period of “recuperation.” Hence, the blog entry. This is, or will be, a constructive way of de-stressing, letting off steam, ventilation, however you may call it. I say “constructive” because writing has a dual purpose: it maintains sanity, and it keeps the brain functioning. Perhaps it would be helpful to give you an example: merely on the second day after my last class lecture, I was surprisingly aimless and idle. I did not know what to do nor did I have any logical direction. I thought to myself: “what now?” Then my sister asked me to proofread her Master’s Degree write-up. To my disbelief, I noticed a remarkable difference between her past essays and her write-up. During that 10-month period of being out of school her writing skills had gone awry. Regardless, I finished editing her paper, and promised myself to continue writing with the hopes of improving my skill as well as talking about things that matter.