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.