Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Second Life

   The concept behind Second Life has intrigued me since I first heard it mentioned years ago by Dwight on an old episode of “The Office.”  The idea is definitely an interesting one, and I think one that garners pretty diverse opinions.
    My personal opinion has always been that I would not want a “second life.”  On the introductory website, there is a short video explaining why people would use second life.  The words connect, work, explore, and love were all used in the description.  Wouldn’t doing all of these things be better in your “first life,” since they actually exist? 
    Now, I never have personally used Second Life, and to be fair I am sure that it possesses some sort of redeeming qualities for those who choose to spend their time there.  Perhaps it’s a way for people to make friends when they have social issues in the real world, or people just want to meed people from all over the globe, or possibly live out things that they would never get the opportunity to do, such as own their dream home.
    I am reminded of a clip I saw last semester from the Frontline documentary Digital Nation where they spoke to several people involved in the creation and carrying out of Second Life.  The creator mentioned how he had such an active first life that he wanted to carry out everything else he wanted to do through a virtual one.  While this may be the case for him, I doubt that that is the case for the majority of people who use the program. 
    Second life seems to have a heavy dose of escapism involved.  It seems like today more and more people are turning towards the internet and living digital lives instead of real, tangible ones.  It is not only the case with Second Life, but facebook, twitter, youtube, and a vast variety of other social media sites.  It is a complicated issue, because as people are being forced to go online to stay “connected” with others, we have to be careful to not let our “second lives” become our first.

1 comment:

  1. I completely agree with the complications of this. I will often get sidetracked into looking at my friends' lives through facebook, and forget my responsibilities and waste time. I am tempted to delete my account during these moments of weakness, but I think of how much good can be done through them. I recently went to a fireside where MTC missionaries spoke. They do all their proselyting online! It's crazy. They make contacts through and facebook, and skype with their investigators! They taught us things we could do to share the gospel through these means. Since then I've been trying to have more religious posts like scripture statuses and mormonmessages links.

    But there is the need for moderation, and like Elder Bednar talked about and you mentioned we can't use them to escape. Plus, some people end up getting divorced over things like internet lives and they become first lives. So it's scary. But since we are talking about it and we are aware, I think we are more capable of not letting the internet consume us.