Monday, January 29, 2007

Get a (virtual) Life!

We eat. We sleep. We work (if we're lucky). This could/does make Justin a dull boy. That's where escapes and diversions come in. For me it's... well, ultimate... photography... I'm inclined to spend some time click-click-clicking on the computer too (in case reading this blog wasn't a dead giveaway). Still, I like to think that my time on-line doesn't get in the way of my time in-life. Messenger and other on-line chat programs. Facebook, MySpace and the other social networking sites. While I pursue some of them, I consider them ways to maintain or develop the relationships I have with people I know in real life. For that, I am thankful.

There are so many diversions that seem to be relationships in-and-of-themselves. That is not to say some don't provide the opportunity to meet someone in person. I had a conversation with a friend about on-line dating sites such as Lavalife and how effective they can be at pulling people who are interested in similar things together in real life. While it wasn't exactly my point of view I understand. It's the things that create or at least maintain distance between people that I don't think are so great. Case in point: Second Life. This is a virtual world where people can be who/what they want (probably an interesting opportunity). Real money is even exchanged in this virtual world. In fact, the equivalent of over $1 Million USD has been exchanged IN THE LAST 24 HOURS! Real money, used to buy virtual money, used to buy virtual things to create a virtual life. The business side of it is certainly promising with over 3 million users and clearly plenty of money moving around. Real stores have opened up. Reuters has a Second Life news outlet and now, Sweden has an embassy. No real visas but real information. I hope that those who populate this world find it adds to there experience outside of it. As someone who is trying to add to their experience outside of the computer, I have trouble imagining the resources invested in something that is, at it's heart, another diversion. Then again, maybe the "real" activities and diversions that I pursue end up being very much the same. I guess I can't help but feel/trust/hope that investing in life outside of the computer I am investing in something more long-lasting and real. Maybe it's all virtual too (ahh the Matrix).

I know this is an incomplete musing leaving many spaces for well constructed comments critiquing my view. I'm cool with that. Comments are always welcome, even if you disagree with where I'm coming from (making you very clearly misguided and wrong). ;)

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