From time to time I have divulged that I have an alter ego, a super power that I discovered as a child and those powers have followed me into adulthood. I am Invisible Girl. During the days of my youth I discovered that people could look right through me as if I wasn’t there. I could enter a room without turning a head. I would speak up yet no one would hear me. I would stand in a crowd at recess as teams were chosen for kick ball, red rover, or whatever might be the game of the hour and find myself standing alone and assigned to a team by default.
That was before the digital age. There were no personal computers. Telephones were tethered to the wall by a cord, and the best form of communication outside of face to face was provided by the U.S. postal system. There wasn’t email, texting, Facebook, or Twitter. There was no ignore button; to ignore someone you had to be upfront and deliberate about it.
Over the years, I’ve turned my invisibility into an asset. I can observe a situation without calling attention to myself, giving me precious time to map out my strategy. I can eavesdrop, be a fly on the wall and I can find respite in even the most chaotic atmosphere by simply reaching inside of myself.
Today, I discovered that Invisible Girl disappears in the cyber world as well. Here are just a few of her new super powers:
- She can send emails that can hide in the junk mail box pretending that they aren’t really there.
- Her texts can be selectively ignored by family members, especially if they are new items to the grocery list, or a reminder of a particular time one is expected home.
- She can post the intricate comings and goings on the family calendar, and she must be using disappearing ink as everyday she is asked, “What’s the plan?”
- When she sees her teenage daughter on Facebook chat while she is supposedly doing homework and sends an “instant” message inquiring on her progress . . . well there must be an ignore button there, too.
Knowing Invisible Girl as well as I do, I am certain that she will turn disappearing pixels, cyber code, or bits and bytes into another sanctuary of peace and understanding. And if all that fails, she can fall back on face to face communications. There’s nothing like being upfront and deliberate.