Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Is Life In The Digital World Useful or Dangerous?

Naturally, the benefit or bane of digital life could be attributed to how you implement it—with intelligence or carelessness.

But, is there something inherent in digital interaction that threatens our normal development and growth?

In the previous post, Social Networking for Mavericks, I touted the benefits of using Second Life (a virtual world) for the bulk of my social networking. I’m Events Manager for Book Island, a simulator-area that hosts 60 authors, editors, publishers, and artists.

In my daily duties, I meet many new people and it often becomes obvious to them that I’m an author. What happens after that depends on them—I don’t use aggressive promotion of my own work—I let relationships build naturally and, when it’s appropriate, they find out I have books they might like

But, even though being in a virtual world seems advantageous to me, are there aspects of digital interaction that are subtly keeping me from being fully productive or, even worse, undermining my sane and healthy development?

Could people’s use of other social media—FaceBook, Twitter, etc.—be harmful??

I’m providing two videos in this post to explore the dynamics of the issue.

The first one is Sherry Turkle, talking about the alienation that can happen in chat rooms, social media, and virtual worlds.

She’s a Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The second video is Philip Rosedale, the founder of the virtual world Second Life.

Since Philip’s video is from 2008—when Second Life was gaining traction but not as developed as it is today—I’m providing this link with more history and information about Second Life (things even folks who’ve used it for many years may not know…).

I’d love your opinions, thoughts, and feelings in our Comments :-)

Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

3 responses to “Is Life In The Digital World Useful or Dangerous?

  1. Simone Benedict April 13, 2012 at 12:49 am

    It’s both useful and dangerous. It’s never bothered me to be alone before, but I seem to find myself enjoying my own company less and less these days. During those rare times when I am able to 100% unplug, it’s darn refreshing!

    “I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude. We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when we stay in our chambers. ~Henry David Thoreau, “Solitude,” Walden, 1854


  2. Pingback: The Connected Writer « Notes from An Alien

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