I know there will come a day when I will die.
I am mortal. And, like Socrates, I will die.
It’s going to happen to everybody.
Along with taxes and the Kardashians’ domination of popular culture, there’s no avoiding the end.
I don’t need a syllogism to inform me of my eventual end. Anyone with a grandma or a goldfish knows all mortal beings will die.
You know, I don’t think people are even afraid of death. Or even of dying. I think what scares people most about death is the idea that they no longer exist. The idea that the world will be deprived of our presence. Permanently.
That we won’t be here forever.
But You don’t need to actually die to know what that feels like. To know what the world feels like without you in it.
That feeling is just a computer glitch away.
I couldn’t log onto Facebook.
It wasn’t just me. No one could.
Just “error” messages.
I couldn’t update my status, post or “like” anything. I couldn’t like this funny meme:
These days, to exist in any full sense of the word, EVERYONE knows one must have an online presence. To know anything about or to interact in any meaningful way with the world, one must be on the internet.
I post, therefore I am.
The French philosopher Rene Descartes wanted to determine how can he be sure that he exists. Descartes concludes, since he is able to question his own existence, that he is, at the very least, a thinking being. A being that thinks, Descartes declares, exists. Descartes writes:
And as I observed that in the words I think, hence I am, there is nothing at all which gives me assurance of their truth beyond this, that I see very clearly that in order to think it is necessary to exist…
If existence in the modern world is (necessarily) dependent on one’s ability to post one’s Facebook status, then I, at least for a day, did not exist.
It’s not just John Lennon who knows what it’s like to be dead.
Well, actually, neither do I. I spent the day checking my gmail.
…. and then there’s always tumblr.
Rene Descartes. Discourse On Method. 2004 . NY: Barnes and Noble Books. p. 25.