From oct 2010 my educational posts are published only on Pip

25 aug. 2010

Online is real life

Almost every little meeting, every little chat I run with someone new to me, generate a lot of thinking afterwards. Phrases from the conversation pop up here and there in my mind, probably those words that mean something more, that have something deeper and more interesting to say than what was said in one phrase.

When reading a post in wired this morning on how online friends are almost as valuable as real family, a phrase from such a meeting yesterday pops up. I saw a previous post to this yesterday morning, but didn’t bother to read it. Young people identify with their online community almost as much as their own family is so obvious to me that I don’t need to read a post about it. It’s superfluous information, maybe good to remember sometimes if you will need to convince someone else.

Now the phrase added to my mind yesterday was ‘The online community life is as real as the physical life’.

This statement is so much more interesting. It’s the reason. If you accept this reason it is also evident and self-explaining that people spending much time in a community, feeling support and feedback from others, building up an identity both visual and mental probably feel that this is as big part of their lives.

Also if you know that for example Stardoll was created as a resource or a refuge from the intriguing and tensed school yards and homes that often cause young girls a lot of disruptions and dissatisfactions, then it’s no wonder that they feel more safe and comfortable in their online community life than at the dinner table or in the classroom.

I can't even call online for virtual anymore. Virtual life is as real as... the rest of my life.

Please flip in Alicjaf13’s Album to be amazed by how much time she puts on her online Stardoll friends and identity and there is no doubt anymore. Also remember that the background images don’t exist, she put them together from hundreds of other objects. She has spent weeks on this Album only. More time and for the moment maybe even more love than her own family.

4 kommentarer:

  1. Not that I spend much time on Stardoll or other communities but the folks on Twitter feel very real to me :)

  2. Stardoll is only a very concrete example, but Twitter is real to me to even if people have names as kottkrig and mymlan :-).

  3. The terminology has been lacking for some time - virtual vs. real. I've flinched at this distinction since I encountered IRC some fifteen years ago. It's a fun thought experiment to think about possible other distinctions:

    Online and offline are of course good terms, plus they're fairly neutral.

    In the Pirate Bay trials, Peter Sunde rejected the prosecutor's use of the phrase "IRL, in real life" to describe actions that happened offline. I agree with him that the old term AFK - Away From Keyboard, is a more interesting acronym, as it signals that the Keyboard is the norm.

    Another term/concept is that of first and second worlds/lives. The physical world is the first we encounter, the online world the second. A while ago I wrote a fictional essay for an exhibition, or two essays rather, one focusing on negative impacts of the net in the future (about twenty years from now), and on the positive. In the dystopical one I focused on the probable shift where the physical world becomes the second world. This will happen within our life spans.

    Old/New world are, I believe, terms that we will see pop up in the near future, used by the online generations, with some attitude, towards the offliners.

    /Peter Blom

  4. thanks, online/offline describes where I am well enough I guess, new/old feels kind of excluding or degrading, no one wants to be of the old world I guess? Or is it only me? I'll try my kids and see how they express it - curious.