Living inside a virtual world where you can experience and explore different facets of your personality can present unusual challenges to confront. We often don’t like seeing faults in our personalities, and in a world where the projection of everything is heightened, our faults will be highlighted as well.
We rarely create an avatar with the intention of learning life lessons as part of the journey. However if one is willing to notice, there are many lessons to learn as you wander around creating your virtual life.
Simple lessons are taught which change the way you interact within your online world, such as learning to respect differing lifestyles to your own. Increase your tolerance level by learning to accept different opinions, even when they go against your core values. Situations will occur that can spark your curiousity and encourage you to broaden your knowledge of other cultures and beliefs.
Although we are hidden behind keyboards, our feelings are very much connected to the words upon our screen. So the harder lesson, of taking responsibility for how your online actions make another person feel; can only be learnt by the sad experience of either being hurt or by hurting another. In a world of people who all have their own reasons for being there, this lesson is rarely avoided.
I believe we should always seek the positive within a hurtful experience. Find that one thing we can take and use it to make us into a better person.
So when asked, “what is ‘the’ most important lesson, I took to heart,” I’ve found something I never would have anticipated early on … from those early days of wonder and excitement when it was just about learning how to navigate the grid, or learning how to dance, or more challenging yet, learning how to STOP dancing!
For me, it is a lesson learnt only this past year, but by far the most essential of my journey thus far. It is the one I’ve learned through hard knocks and hope to never again compromise. For someone who loves to immerse themselves in the fantasy of a given situation, who relishes at being able to play a character within a roleple it was the realization of how important it is to keep one foot firmly planted in reality at all times.
I share it with you and say, live with the fantasy, enjoy the imagination and creativity but bang your knee on the desk drawer once a night to just remind yourself what is real and what is make-believe.
My travels for the photographs for this blog entry took me to the Virtual Harlem Sim, an interesting recreation of the 1920s Jazz era in the United States. As it was my first visit, I collected the teleport HUD from the inside of the train station which made navigating the sim easy with the added bonus that I didn’t miss out on any of the features. For those that take the time to explore the many museums, there is plenty of information. If you’re looking for a unique place for a date, you will find dance balls and intans in many of the areas of the sim. It is a well designed and well executed sim and I encourage you to at least wander the streets here just once.
Virtual Harlem Train Station can be found at slurl: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Virtual%20Harlem/211/38/30