|My avatar Jas in a thoughtful mood !|
But, in other ways, I think the longer term relationships people have in Second Life are more intense and possibly even more genuine than some of those in real life. Very few people manage to keep the real person behind them completely hidden and in a way people who are really being their inner selves without the distractions of day to day life are freer to love or develop deep friendships.
A recent study in the Wall Street Journal about Second Life stated that “experts.. have found most recently that feelings that people have online — connections with other virtual characters, loss, friendship, and even love — are in fact real emotions, and humans don’t have the ability to switch off between what they feel on – and off-line.” I don`t think this is a surprising phenomenon, though, surely there isn`t a difference – the internet is only another form of communication after all.
Of course particularly vulnerable people are more at risk of being hood-winked – but the same is true in real life. Provided parents keep an eye on children and don`t allow them to go on sites such as Second Life, and everyone else takes whatever they are told by people in world with a pinch of salt – at least at first- I don`t see why this can`t be the same as any other social networking site.And in this world you have the added bonus of being able to dress up and make your avatar into a complete sex bomb!
And, last but not least- I have been pleasantly surprised by the close friendships I have developed here and hope to make many more in the future.