I didn't lose you, but you're long gone

Photo credit

Four years,
Two breakups,
And everything in between.

The first year, when we first knew each other. Social media really is an amazing invention. Without it, we couldn't have possibly met. I still remember that night clearly, you were hurting because of your ex-boyfriend. Red-eyed, I went to the coffee shop late night only to listen to you cry.

The second year, when we got busier. But we still made sure we got time to each other. Even when we didn't, we still knew we had each other. You, being a sophomore in university. And me, being a freshman in the same university as you. I was euphoric, we could meet more frequently. Moreover when you told me about your new boyfriend, I couldn't be happier for you.

The third year, when we got closer. We watched a band concert together, the very same band we both were obsessing over, completing our promise we made two years ago. I still remember that night clearly, you were waiting for me to be finished with my work at the office, Exhausted, I went to the coffee shop late night only to exchange conversations with you.

The fourth year, when we got distant. I finally had a boyfriend, we might not go out as much as we used to do. But I still regarded you as someone precious. And then you met these two girls, especially this one girl you went out so many times with. I couldn't help but kept thinking to myself,
"She got something that I couldn't possibly have, she got so much more than me."
I started to feel replaced. And then you did the same to your boyfriend. Before I knew it, all of a sudden I was no longer inside any of your friends list on every social media. At that moment I knew, you are no longer the same person as the one you were. You left people who made you you behind. Replacing every single one of them with someone new.

The first heartbreak drew us together,
But the second one just drew us further.

Everything in between was some bittersweet memories.
Sweet, because our laughter keep echoing in every moment we shared.
Bitter, because in the end memories are what's left.

Thank you for the memories.

-

2013-2016
Is this really the end?

You, Who Cries to Sleep at Night

Photo by Bayu "Paktuwa"

You, whose mind is loud. You let your demons in, for you want to let me out. It's all because you can't stand feeling so empty. Of course, who'd be able to bear an overwhelming amount of emptiness? Even I can't. The voices keep shouting the same words, echoing around the void in your head, but you couldn't care less. All the unchanging noises are better than the quiet, after all.

You, whose body language I speak so eloquently. I can't imagine the day when I'd be forced to chant a monologue of despair with only this mouth of mine. I'd be damned if I could no longer graze you as whole with my five senses. And now I figured, you can't too.

You, whose age is getting shorter and shorter with that burning spirit of yours. You keep longing for the day when you'd be free of anguish, poor you. You burn, like a fuse of a dynamite. Like the flame on the edge, we're getting closer. Death is waiting just right on the corner.

But oh you, whose cry is getting louder and louder. Afraid, you shall not.

For when the time is up, we'd leave everything but regrets. We'd leave nothing but trails of our existence. With every breath we take, we'd leave something that is a speck of awe and wonder coming from our surroundings. Our presence would still linger. And in that moment, we'd be together forever.

Afraid, you shall not.

-

Please don't be afraid,
I'd only be gone for a while.

Catfish: Permainan Identitas dan Muslihat Berkedok Anonimitas - Artikel Ilmiah tentang Internet


Abstract

As technology improved and ever since the Internet has been invented, came The Second Media or New Media Age that enables the new way to communicate with each other via computer.

Different from Face to Face communication (FtF), Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) uses the Internet as some sort of virtual space which has a role in connecting everyone from the edge of the world, with no limit of space nor time.

The Internet is a place where anonymity is glorified to develop an opportunity to create a totally different persona of yourself apart from your real life identity; given the fact that the communication is mediated by computer in cyberspace which would later cause social deteritorialization—even deterioration. But those no-limit policy wasn’t exactly limitless.

In fact, there is a huge gap and boundary that separates FtF and CMC. The seemingly real-time interaction on the Internet is apparently tied by the limitedness of space and time. In such situation, the risk of someone pretending to be someone they're not to create false identities is huge.

Rather than a pseudonym, they built a fictional, completely different alter ego from what they really are in real life, usually aiming for establishing an online relationship with someone on the Internet, creating a whole new individual. This practice has become so common on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social medias, that the world has a dedicated term to call those certain imposters.

We’d call them, a Catfish.

-

Abstrak

Seiring berkembangnya teknologi dan ditemukannya Internet, datanglah masa Second Media/New Media atau Media Baru yang memunculkan cara baru untuk berkomunikasi dengan satu sama lain melalui komputer.

Berbeda dengan komunikasi tatap muka secara langsung (Face-to-Face Communication atau FtF), komunikasi yang termediasi oleh komputer (Computer-Mediated Communication atau CMC) menggunakan Internet sebagai suatu ruang virtual yang memiliki peran untuk menghubungkan semua orang dari seluruh penjuru dunia, tanpa adanya batasan ruang ataupun waktu.

Internet merupakan suatu tempat di mana anonimitas diagung-agungkan, karena ia memberi kita kesempatan untuk membangun persona diri sendiri yang sangat bertolak belakang dengan identitas kita di dunia nyata; didukung dengan fakta bahwa komunikasi tersebut termediasi oleh komputer di ruang siber yang nantinya akan menyebabkan deteritorialisasi sosial — bahkan deteriorisasi.

Akan tetapi kebijakan tanpa batas tersebut belum tentu tidak terbatas. Faktanya, terdapat sebuah jarak dan batasan sangat besar yang memisahkan FtF dengan CMC. Interaksi yang terlihat real-time di Internet ternyata terikat oleh keterbatasan ruang dan waktu. Dalam situasi tersebut, resiko di mana seseorang berpura-pura menjadi orang lain untuk menciptakan identitas palsu sangatlah besar.

Alih-alih menggunakan pseudonym atau alias, mereka malah membuat alter ego yang amat berbeda dari kehidupan mereka di dunia nyata, menciptakan sesosok individu yang sama sekali baru. Hal tersebut biasanya bertujuan untuk membangun hubungan secara online dengan seseorang di Internet. Praktek ini menjadi hal yang sangat sering ditemui di Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, dan media sosial lainnya, hingga muncul sebuah istilah yang didedikasikan khusus untuk menyebut mereka.

Mereka adalah Catfish.

Keywords: Catfish, Internet, Dunia Maya, Cyberspace, Anonimitas, Pseudonym, Teori Media Baru, Computer-Mediated Communication, Face to Face Communication, Facebook, Media Sosial

Jakarta, 4 November 2016

Photo by Agus Dwiyanto

Hari itu, 13 Mei 1998.

Ibu saya menghabiskan waktu 4 jam mencari jalan alternatif untuk pulang dari kantornya di cakung ke rumah kami di daerah jakarta barat. Ia menangis sepanjang jalan mengingat saya di rumah yang baru berumur setahun hanya bersama baby sitter.

Hari itu. Ketika dagangan kami dijarah, toko kami diporak-porandakan, dan mereka tertawa-tawa sambil berlari-lari mendorong troli berisi barang hasil jarahan.

Hari itu, ketika perempuan2 tionghoa seumur saya sekarang, diperkosa dan dibunuh. Tanpa konfilk pribadi, hanya berdasarkan sentimen rasial.

Saya teringat teman saya bercerita. Pada hari itu, semua lelaki di keluarganya berjaga-jaga di depan rumah dengan pedang samurai. Ia, yang waktu itu baru berumur 4 tahun, menganggap hal tersebut merupakan suatu aksi yang heroik tanpa memahami betapa mencekamnya situasi pada hari itu.

Saya jadi berpikir, mengapa pada hari itu keadaan berubah menjadi sedemikian parah? Apakah hari itu adalah puncak dari sebuah polemik dan kebencian terhadap kaum saya yang sudah terpendam sejak ratusan tahun yang lalu?

-

Hari ini, 4 November 2016.

"Nanti hari jumat ga usah pulang." Pernyataan tersebut terlontar dari orang tua saya padahal saya sudah tidak pulang lebih dari 2 minggu dan rumah hanya berjarak 2 jam dari domisili saya saat ini.

"Apa mendingan kamu bolos aja besok?" Ibu saya menyarankan hal tersebut kepada adik saya padahal beliau sangat benci anaknya bolos sekolah/kuliah.