Virtual Relationships are Intimate
Virtual relationships are important. The real reason I told the story of Mike is that I realize people do join Second Life looking for a relationship. But is that a good or bad thing?
Many young people (and not so young) look to virtual places for an alternative way to tackle issues they have in their real lives. They want somewhere that they’re accepted just as they are.
In my previous example, I was trying to show how young people can learn safely how to deal with opposite sex (and same sex) relationships safely through virtual worlds. People negotiate their relationships through virtual avatars. This means they don’t have to show themselves until they’re ready. Everyone may have different agendas, but we can all can negotiate relationships with relative safety in virtual reality. Unless we are daft enough to invite the other person right over to our place in the real world, and let’s face it, that’s rather a stupid thing to do.
More mature people, or those who have so far succeeded at navigating the pitted road called ‘relationship’ can come upon a crisis roadblock at some point in their lives. This is when they may need a virtual ‘mechanic’ or alternative ‘vehicle’ (possibly with better upholstery) to trade in or see them through until their real lives improve. Second Life may be a place that may be safe to try out a new ‘vehicle’, in terms of lifestyle, relationship style and kinds of people to speak to. You can learn about other people’s lives from the wide population inside virtual worlds.
Although virtual worlds such as Second Life have been accused of causing relationship problems, it appears to be more of a victim of the symptoms that people have in their lives and of existing issues, rather than being a direct cause of problems. After all, if you are happy in your relationship, why come to a virtual world to have an affair behind your partner’s back? Its a no-brainer. Having a relationship with your partner’s knowledge can spice up your life. Being single and seeking a partner – yes! I’d suggest that ‘no one’ who was happy would cheat on their partner, either virtual or real world IF they are happy. What do you think?