Monday, November 17, 2008

A second life to none.

Has this ever happened to you? Finding your free time gobbled up by the daily routine that your once smoldering "virtual life" screeches to a shocking halt?

I admit I have stopped coming to my favorite chatroom, and even my beautiful loft stands vacant in IMVU. I could almost see my curtains gently bouncing off my empty walls. I’m not there to enjoy the fabulous furnitures I tried to acquire over the months. I have even stopped tweaking on my Hp, nor read the important group announcements for events I can’t attend.

Ok, perhaps my schedule hasn’t changed all that much. Maybe I’ve just noticed that chatrooms and IMVU has lost a bit of its luster. It seems that the little dings of chats that once poured in by the bucketful have dwindled. The mediocrity of some of the roomies has me clutching my ears begging to make it stop. Is it because some people cause trouble when they can't tell one from the other and some because they can't handle real people in real life so they hide behind a keyboard running their mouths?

What I’ve learned lately is that my engagements in my "virtual life" grow and fade like the monthly metamorphosis of the moon. Of course, I am aware that my real life needs work. And if I engaged in a fantasy–life too deeply, then I am most certainly depriving the roots of my real existence of the most essential nutrients needed for me to grow and flourish.

I realize there are many of us whose lives are so painful that we sometimes retreat into our virtual lives and virtual friends to give us some room to breathe. I get that. But then we can also take steps to make real changes in the lives we hide from.

So in the spirit of finding a balance, I think of five other things I could do besides sit in front of my computer staring at my avatar as she travels around the galaxy. If I don’t like what's showing in the TV, I find some new books to read, or watch a movie, call an old friend I haven’t spoken to in awhile, or make a cup of hot tea and just sit calmly.

Sure, virtual life can be fun when played in moderation. But it can also be dangerously all-consuming. And when that happens, we run the risk of losing what’s most important to us - our real selves.


Lirish said...

hhmm..virtual life..reminds me of something..;)
the chat is very addictive sometimes..yeah may be we tend to find what we didnt in the real life..u end with some bad experiences,lost hours in job, decrease in the eyesight, etc etc..

But once in a while u get into a beautiful relation..and odette this is for u..what started as a general chat went on a virtual level..reached great heights..and then back to reality..but in the end..i now have a great friend to whom i can speak my heart out.. so all in all..a virtual life is nice until you know exactly where you stand, where u fly and ultimately whether u will glide down smoothly or fall down abruptly..

C. Tan said...

Reading your post reminded me of a conversation I had with a good friend related to chatting. We came to the conclusion that chat rooms give you a glimpse of a person's personality even though they would say what they are in the chat room is totally different from their offline persona. It is interesting to observe that the manner in which people communicate in chat rooms can actually be showing who they really are. For example, by the manner in which a chatter speak about himself, others and other things could give indication whether the person is insecure, discerning, knowledgeable, smart, or naughty, among others even though he/she tried hard to show the opposite. You can get this analysis maybe after few chats or after a long period of chatting or even observing the person chatting. Thus, you need to be observant to at least get a grasp of chatter’s persona just like in real life.

Chat room is like a microcosm of society wherein the behaviors of people are somewhat the same offline. Fighting, gossips, laughing, disagreements, boasting, celebrations which actually happen offline are also seen in chat rooms. And like in our daily lives, we have to be very careful of the people we meet until we know them very well.

In the end, what matters most is to know beforehand what really your goal in going to chat rooms is. Are you there for entertainment? For knowledge and discussion? For love and relationship? For nonsense? Whatever your objective will facilitate your existence in chat rooms, eventually making it a part of your existence. Being absent from it is just like not being able to watch your favorite television show or not being able to see one of your good friends. Thus, in the end you will not find any duality at all between virtual and offline.

yusufyusuf said...

Nice blog...!

The Secret Face ©

Star said...

It is true one can get consumed by Virtal worlds when in real world is hard to deal with .. A life of chats that when the PC goes of does that world does too ... I had fine myself lately being pulled in more and more because I can not deal with the real changes that have been taking in my real life ...

It is sads that one can only run to a machine that really has no feeling or life to be able to hide one pain or angier ..

What I say here I should say to the ones that are really involved in my real life .. I should not hide anymore what it is eating me inside but in real world you don't have shut off switch .. it is on all the time making you face to m any realities that you have closed in all you life ..

I had found myself grasping on to friends here when I have so many out in the world... I should be taking the invites that are given to me and enjoy my life .. go see other places but like I told a friend mine I must be cursed for if I am needed some where I can get my head blown off so how I can get out this trap I have made for myself .. not even thinking about the chatroom or net world ..

But when I tried to get away even for few days all hell breaks lose .. Chats are cool but now when one has so much running thu ones head and demons seem to be taking over ..

I have stop reading, writting, sewing and even my music .. I become closed in a world that is not rightfully mine and becoming someone I am not..

But all this soon will be coming to an end if I can fine that dam courage I need to face my reality ... I might not be long on this earth and maybe that why I have clinged on to this one .. but I know before this Sart light dims she will be able to face the real world again ...

Don;t let you life be consumed in this world or the real world .. Words are heard everywhere and are taken to the heart .. with a face or not ... Use this time here or in real world to help other and not pity yourself like I have done over the few months .. Enjoy the virtal world but at same time remember there is a good life out there and friends that do love you just fined it and fight for it .. Don't give up as I almost did ..

Sid Brechin said...

I have noticed many people try to either make their virtual selves into what they wished they were or as surogates to do what they would never dare do in real life.

I have used the internet when it was still pretty much only used by the military and in some cases universities. Remember it started so governments could communicate in the event traditional means of communication were wiped out. One of the first targets in warfare.

I have always done my best to make my virtual life as close to the real life me as possible. In fact when I first went on IMVU I was bothered that I could not find an avatar of a man in his fifty's and balding ( now a complete Capt Picard haircut is what I have and can't even find one of those there) I made my avatar look like I did in my mid 30's its as honest as I could get. I also tried to make my homepage reflect my thoughts as well as I could and am surprised at the positive feedback I get. More so when I reply to those messages and they find that really is how I think and behave. Odette can verify that, she has come to know me pretty well.

There is no problem with using the virtual universe to improve ourselves. We can meet and interact with people from all over the world. First impressions are not based on looks or what we can afford to wear. ( or choose to wear I prefer comfort and my own style in real life. I have a closet full of suits. I normally wear clothing relaxing and comfortable. Most of all practical. ) Peoples manners say a lot and those who can behave in a virtual world I imagine do the same in the real world. If they don't it doesn't mean they don't behave in the real world but rather that they may not if there were no consequences.

Odette has taught me a lot about her part of the world. Enough that although in the past I had considered travelling there if the opportunity came up it has moved much higer up on my "Bucket List"

People as open and understanding as she is are a rare gift and the examples she sets for her children are inspiring.

blue_butterfly said...

I know i have met great people online and I am always grateful for that. They have moved from being a mere online friend to "real' friend like what Lirish and Sid said, despite the fact that we haven't seen each other.
But what I am asking there is the amount of time spent chatting either on ym or in 3D world. Should we be spending so much time on something so frivolous?
Being an extrovert myself, I get my energy from other people. I look at some of my time online as a welcome opportunity to pump a little extra energy into my reserves. But mostly I just really enjoy it. I feel like a better person learning the things I do from other people or exploring a part of myself that might have gone unchartered.
Yes its euphoric to share a part of yourself that you might never have revealed to anyone in real life and finding out that the world ain’t gonna crash down around your head when you do. Then walking back into real world stronger because of that realization.
But then again, like Chamy pointed out, we need to know what our goal is. We shouldn't be consumed or sucked into it for 5 or 6 hours stretch. A little downtime is something , a quarter of a day is another.

TheKnight777 said...

My 2 cents! lol It seems to me not all are frivolous pursuits,,, and yes there are the people like me that do spend and depend on the internet for the things rl cant offer.

I got bored of rl! And now I use all my spare time trying to get to know as many of the people behind the masks.

And thus I have begun some real convos with real people. But beware of the damage that can come from this type of relationship.

Anonymous said...

You know the one thing I totally realize is that Life in the outside world is oft times complicated. Talking to strangers oddly enough on the other side of the screen can feel safe.

i was watching one of my Fav chick flicks today "You've got Mail"
It is so true though that those words have great meaning. It means someone cares. someone is writing to you, some one cares, some one wants to hear what you have to say & continue conversing back.

People get in ruts. They pull in & distance when the outside world gets to be too much.
Alas I have found out that the Internet world can be just as Drama riddled as the outer world. there are people in here who will lie to you , weave illusions gossip about you & back stab you in a heart beat.

So question becomes Is there really a "safe place"
It is important for us no matter if we are in here or out in life that we get balanced n centered. It is important for us to keep our radar up.
~Sky from IMVU

Anonymous said...

hi friends ,first thing first ...we must get this straight ,most posts here has made net relations seem like something to be viewed with suspician .this is just a social networking medium just like anyother medium where ppl from far of places can interact with each other and get to know each other .Its sometimes the chemistry between two ppl is such that there tends to develop some sort of an affinity towards that particular person which can lead to romance and even love .But i agree that ppl can fake in here ,i used to do that as well ,tried to flirt around hiding my marital status and ended up hurting ppl i genuinely cared for ,even hurting myself in the process .thats when i decided that to meet genuine ppl on net one needs to be genuine and honest too .Ppl do come here for fun and some freelancing to get away from their mundane and monotonous routine , a sort of a getaway from the grind of daily routine .But frankly there are ppl sitting behind these ids with a mind of their own and i disagree with the word virtual because we are very much here ,we are ppl here in our flesh and blood .As far as cheating on our respective spouses are concerned why single out net ,extra marital affairs happened even when there was no pc and i am sure if we conducted a survey more houses still break without the pc having any role in it.Relations are made and broken not just on net ,a relation can fail in real or in this so called virtual world . I have met in real, ppl whom i had met online ,meeting some was disappointing ,and meeting some was more than gratifying and mind you it was not always about love and sex . With some it was platonic and i think i have developed an everlasting bond ith them .We all make mistakes ,we all have negative and positive aspects within us ,its about being non judgemental and accepting the person the way he or she is ,so friends go ahead make more friends on net ,meet more ppl ,but the bottom line is dont be dishonest.TC


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