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Still like my real life

As the world becomes revolves more around technology, people are finding more way to communicate and also express themselves/be themselves. There are many different programs found on the Internet these days were people are given the opportunity to have an “online” life.

In Wednesday class, I was very interested in creating my own avatar, (changing my hair, clothes, body). I also enjoyed exploring the different worlds, flying and interacting with the class. However, like Bethany mentioned, my online world began to be uncomfortable when I started to meet other people. I was caught in the middle of a conversation with two other avatars (that I didn’t know) talking about a girl across the room. I started to wonder if they looked and acted the same way offline.

I am open to new ways of communication, and I do understand that technology is making it easier for people to meet for personal and for business reasons. But I also think that it is important that technology and personal interaction (face-to-face) need to work together. In the reading The electric self: doing virtual research or real in second life, by Julie Rak

 It describes Second life as a place “where it is possible to interview for a job in the offline world (but as your online persona)” Personally, I believe that interviews should be kept face-to-face to actually meet. Anyone can be whom that want on the internet. Sometimes when meeting face to face you learn more about a person. 

I leave you with this question. In a few years, will Second Life be “real life? Will personal/ face-to-face interaction matter anymore?

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May 30, 2009 Posted by | Comment on Course Material | Leave a comment

Living (With) A Second Life

It is three days later and I’m still thinking about Second Life and trying to decide how I feel about using it socially and professionally. As I ponder the social ramifications of Web 2.0, I can relate to a few other comments that have been made.

When we finished our class experience on Second Life I sort of felt like I do when I sit down and watch a reality TV show. In a world where we all have so many REAL issues to contend with every day, there is obviously a societal cry for an escape from our own reality. So we’ve created TV shows where people are on display 24/7 and we are told that they are ‘real’ people living ‘real’ lives. Deep down I don’t think we have ever believed this, but yet, reality TV has not gone away. In fact, it’s become more popular.  Often we pretend not to enjoy it, or talk about how fake and unbelievable these shows are. But don’t we still watch them? Isn’t it sometimes easier to watch Jon & Kate Plus 8 and make up our minds about their lives, their insecurities, their relationships, their ‘reality’, instead of addressing our own?

So then I think about Second Life. We are creating avatars in a world where we know that we are always on display. We pretend that it gives us freedom to be anyone we want to be, but judgement prevails and stereotypes are often perpetuated.  

At the beginning of “The Electric Self: Doing Virtual Research For Real In Second Life”, Julie Rak cites an interesting quote:

In one way or another we all have this hope. The yearning to transcend, to reach up, to let go of our skins and find a new place without sorrow and loss. Virtual worlds have the capacity to promise that redemption, to entrance us, to make us forget ourselves until it’s too late.
—Tim Guest, Second Lives: A Journey Through Virtual Worlds (351)

I guess I feel the same as I do about Facebook, Twitter and other social mediums. Second Life can be a good tool when it is used to enhance and not escape reality. Second Life is innovative and promotes creative communication. But it also provides an opportunity for people to mask their real life issues and live within their very own virtual bubble. If we don’t understand how to live a first life as confident, intelligent and compassionate individuals who promote equality and acceptance, we certainly won’t get it right in a second life.

May 30, 2009 Posted by | Comment on Course Material | , , | 1 Comment