Thursday, 21 February 2008

Facebook Suicide, Second life - End of Day 3

On a more serious note. As day 3 comes to a close, I got to think about how I didn't really need to be plugged in to the virtual world any more. That maybe, this connection really was just a replacement for contact, that I have been craving in real life.

On the train home, I saw an article in one of free London papers, entitled Facebook BACKLASH - Online phenomenon falters as visitors drop by 5%. I found it quite odd that on the week I decide to flip out about Facebook, its being echoed around the country and world. I hear more and more people are, what is being dubbed, committing Facebook Suicide.

All sounds a bit harsh to me, but I am not far past the thought of committing something.

I was thinking today about SecondLife. It is a huge multi player gaming or world, where people move around in 3d and talk, interact and even have sex! (whoooozers!) yeah! It's true, look it up!

Honestly though, it should be called "Don't have a life? Connect here" I tried it for a few days once and found it dull, a lot of strange looking avatars floating around, pointing and dancing.

There are 5 zillion people connected to it at any one time, and its internal currency where players buy and sell things, makes more money then a small countries G.D.P. (thats the money a country makes in a year, in plain English)

You can read all about the madness of Second Life here.

If you didn't already know, Second life has been the cause of murder (see:, gambling, pedophilia and a whole host of other crimes, it has become a virtually real world in it's own right.

The worrying part of this system is that it has begun already to take over people's lives, young teenagers in China and in many areas of Asia, are spending up to 9 hours a day, sitting at a computer terminal, "connecting" with people around the world, via the Second Life, interface.

On the surface it may seem harmless, but from my own point of view and the view of many behavioral psychologists. when children "connect" with others on these systems day in and day out, they are missing out the vital experiences and skills to equip them later in life, but substituting real human interaction with this artificial human interaction, it is my belief they are stunting both their emotional growth and physical well being as young people.

Get a real life, not a second one.


Vee. said...

There is such a lot of truth in what you say Robbie! Keep on with the awareness you are creating, it seems there are a growing number of people aware and reading this. I have sent these notes to at least 15 people who are amazed at the insight and perception that you have! Keep going man-we are all behind you.

Ling said...

Hey Robbie, re:Facebook Suicide - DON'T do it! Don't be rash ... just leave it be and carry on with your digital hiatus.

I think social networking/digital living could be potentially hazardous for young minds.

Still, cultures are organic - if it's not one thing, it's another and who are we to say or keep kids from checking out a new world? Besides, this could be invaluable experience for the new world order they're going to have to live with.

Robbie WL said...

hey Ling,

I agree, I think its a case of using it only at certain times and no more.

I can be a bit compulsive, so its not always easy to regulate my behavior.

Anyway, we will see what happens.

I go back to using it on Monday, but I will keep my diary going on how well i handle it.

have you checked out