Big Bad Blogger Challenge 2010 - Day 3

The Reality of Virtual Relationships

Community, insight, Second Life, Virtual Worlds on June 15th, 2010 4 Comments

With my BFF

Today is Day 3 of the Big Bad Blogger Challenge 2010.

Today’s Topic: Relationships

The desire to feel connected is a basic human instinct.  This doesn’t change when we log into a virtual world.  Most users don’t go to virtual spaces just to defy gravity. They’re there for the people. They don’t come back day after day just to spend their time with mere casual acquaintances, either. They often form real relationships with real emotional attachments.  Those that call these relationships (friendships or more) unreal or fantasy ignore the impact they have.  The bonds or connections that are formed don’t begin when you log on and they don’t end when you log out.

This was recently reinforced when 30% of Linden Lab employees were somewhat suddenly laid off.  The Second Life community genuinely mourned the loss of these people that most had never actually met face to face.  The support was instant, unconditional, and real.

The part that bothers me though, is not people questioning how real these friendships or relationships are.  It’s that almost every time the media or “News” mentions Second Life and relationships it’s to tell the story of some affair or stalker turned killer who was found with his virtual lover’s head in a box.  Call me crazy, but while the internet may be full of weirdoes and future serial killers, it is also full of amazing, good natured, and engaging people.  It allows us to defy space and time and meet others from around the world who challenge us, inspire us, and form passionate communities around the things that we care about.

Unfortunately there will probably always be some sensational story about virtual relationships (at least for now).  People will be people.  There are good ones and there are… not so good ones.  I, however, will continue to form real friendships, and conduct real business in these virtual spaces until they develop some new technology where we can defy physics in real time, that or until they find my head in box.  I’M JUST JOKING! Relax!

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4 Responses to “The Reality of Virtual Relationships”


  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kimberly Winnington, Tsai Jie. Tsai Jie said: That they are very real, yes. RT @GiannaBorgnine: The Reality of Virtual Relationships – http://bit.ly/dnI2sf [...]

  2. Pamala Clift says:

    I totally agree that virtual relationships have very real components. I have spent the last four years studying, interviewing and listening to the input of my Roadside Philosophers on all sorts of interactions. I have created a presentation called The State of Being lecture that I do for Rockcliffe that tells of the different perspectives of those inside a cartoon world. How to distinquish who is who and that they all have validity. The conflice comes when you believe your perspective is the only valid one. http://www.virtualhandhold.com
    Those who get immersed are not all socially inept pervs as I have heard them called, but extremely intelligent people as well that because of their intellect can SEE and BE in world and receive experiential components they use in their real life as well. Life happens everywhere. Hugs all.


  3. [...] helped, the issues I’ve brought awareness to, the once in a lifetime experiences I’ve had,  the friendships I’ve made, etc.  The ad doesn’t tell you that you too can discover the explainable magic of Second [...]

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