On “Second Life”…

Okay, so I had a little extra time that I didn’t anticipate and I got to all of next week’s readings a week ahead of time…(hey, I’m doing this thing where I’m using my time wisely–don’t judge).

After doing the readings on “Second Life,” I’m very torn on this topic. A part of me thinks that “virtual worlds” are really the next thing…it incorporates everything about the sites and platforms that we use now–social networking (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace), communication (MSN Messenger, AIM, Yahoo! Messenger, iChat), and “fun” (online games, video games, real-life fun) all in to one. While this can be very useful and add a more personal experience to virtual communication, the implications are frightening.

It’s totally possible that some people who don’t have “real” lives (and by real, I mean, they don’t do much in the real world) might use “Second Life” as an escape…a place to be something or someone that they’re not. While that’s fine and dandy, everyone needs a retreat or activity to call their own, this may not exactly be the healthiest way to go about it. The fact that it’s called “Second Life” already implies that this is the chance for some people to live a virtual life that they might not otherwise be able to live in the real world. But what happens when real lives and virtual lives start to overlap? It’s a fine line…

After watching the video on “Second Life” I was startled by all the things that one could do in the virtual world–especially when the narrator began talking about “relationships.” I mean, I’ve heard of people starting relationships with someone they meet online and such, but the idea of “Second Life” almost promotes the fact that you could have a real relationship in “real life” and then have another romantic relationship with a different person online in “Second Life.” Is that emotional cheating? (If, for a second, we subscribe to the idea that that exists). If that’s really the case, then do virtual relationships have as much value as real ones? Could it be that you can become best friends with someone you’ve never even met?

Again, this has existed in the past with pen-pals and things of the like; however, “Second Life” has such a creepiness factor to it, somehow. I won’t lie, I’m kind of curious and almost tempted to join (just to see). But that’s just it, I’m ALMOST tempted–never actually curious enough to actually join (not out of principle or some inner feeling of superiority) but just because the idea of maintaining a virtual life sounds time-consuming (I can barely keep up with my real one!) I won’t say that I’m a skeptic…16,000,000 are a part of it and seem to enjoy it. Clearly, it’s a growing trend. However, until people that I know and am closely affiliated with start joining, I will NOT jump on the bandwagon. I’ll hold off just a little bit longer.

“Second Life”? No, thanks. I’ll stick with my first and only (real) one.

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