Thursday, October 1, 2009

Virtual Worlds: Good or Bad?

Today's English 200 class was probably the most...interesting English class I've been in. It started off normal enough, well, normal for OUR English class. You see, it was "bring in your barbie" day. Apparently Barbie dolls were the start of feminism and are the picture of true feminists because you can dress your barbie's up as career women.

But that's not what this is about. Somehow this class took a downhill spiral when we started talking about conventions. This turned into an intense conversation about the online virtual world. Apparently, there is this website called Second Life. And it allows you to, well, live a second life virtually. There was a guy on campus this morning that talked to the teaching fellows. He is very, very much into this second life thing. He talked about how great it was for teachers, since they could basically life both lives. And, if that weren't enough, we found out our entire history and English faculty have second life accounts, and use them.

This started an intense discussion about the ethics of virtual lives. There is one girl (who shall remain nameless) who has apparently had a virtual life since she was 13. We all found that disturbing to put it mildly. it shows as well, because she lacks an ability to socialize in a normal situation. The question on how safe this was was raised as well. As an actress, I've seen how hard it can be to break out of the separate character traits you have to pick up. The other girl argued that it was perfectly fine to have a separate life, because you can separate the virtual from the real world.

I, however, have a huge issue with how virtual all our lives are becoming. Every person has a facebook, twitter, email, myspace, and other online forums they use. I bet every one of us spends about 5 hours of our day online. I feel like our entire culture is becoming revolved around computers and virtual lives. We can create our own identity online.

When I was a kid, I can remember spending HOURS outside per day. Now, I rarely see any kids in my neighborhood outside playing and having fun. The life we used to live was that of simplicity and the life we all live revolves around technology and virtuality. There's even studies out about how teenagers are having a hard time communicating when they don't talk through an artificial form....face to face conversation is becoming a lost art. And I am in this group, because I do spend wayy too much time online. And yet, to be a part of this culture, it's required.


Anonymous said...

good morning people. I'm really into shoes and I was searching as far as something that exact make. The prices seeking the boots were all over 170 dollars on every page. But for all I set this area selling them for the benefit of half price. I exceptionally love those [url=]prada sneakers[/url]. I will definetly buy these. what is your opinion?