Tuesday, April 5, 2011

escape from reality

I had heard about Second Life only once before on the same MTV program that Alyssa mentioned in her post. The program followed a typical introverted teenage girl through her experiences on Second Life as a famous musician. Of course, her real life (or LR as non-"newbies" call it),was completely different and she was far from selling out huge venues in front of thousands of adoring fans. In fact, the girl had never performed in front of anyone.
This is a prime example of the false sense of achievement that Second Life can provide for its users. Given a serious case of stage fright, the girl could never bring herself to perform anywhere other than in this virtual world. The problem with this is that as long as she continues to use the site as a means to express herself, she will never learn to socialize and interact with people in real life. Not only this, but she is also given the opportunity to be whoever she wants to be within Second Life. This may sound like a positive outlet for people to express themselves as they could not or would not in real life, but I think it's a slippery slope to losing yourself. If you change so many attributes about yourself in order to "improve", chances are you're going to become dissatisfied with the person you are in real life. This does not exactly encourage a healthy sense of self.
My overall impression of Second Life was skeptical to say the least. It appears to me to be nothing more than an alternate virtual community that gives people an excuse to escape/avoid the reality of their own lives, pretend to be something they are not, and indulge strange fantasies that should be dealt with by a psychiatrist. I mean really?-- sex? That's just weird.

3 comments:

  1. Though escaping reality for a few minutes can sometimes be good for you, Second Life takes it to a whole other level. Rather than escaping for 20 minutes, you must be an active and constant participant in this world which can hinder one's ability to socialize in the real world. I think putting too much time into this virtual reality can ruin your real life.

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  2. Yeah I agree, Second Life usually takes over someones real life, and spending that much time on second life can lead to the demise of a real life. Escaping reality is tempting at times however Second Life just seems too perverted and creepy for me to spend my time on.

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  3. I do go back to my previous comment about the value of rehearsing behaviors in safe settings. If you're afraid of performing in front of people, doing it in a virtual world might make it possible to transfer the successful experience to real life.

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