Yesterday I heard something I thought was really funny, but got me thinking about how my 'real' life is merging with my online or virtul life.
For those who do not know, I normally live in Dunedin, New Zealand but am currently in Brisbane working on a six month contract. I flew back to Dunedin for Easter, but returned to Brisbane on Tuesday.
Yesterday I heard from Erika Pearson on Twitter, who lives in Dunedin - she said (talking about Leigh Blackall who is a mutual firend and colleague who also lives in Dunedin):
@SarahStewart you are back in Qld, right? Leigh B. swears he saw you at the Poly this morning. we think he needs his head examined! ;)
Erika and I had a laugh about this, thinking that Leigh was one step nearer senality. But what had actually happened was that Leigh had 'seen' and spoken to me in Second Life earlier that day, and we had spent a good hour and a half working together on the virtual birthing centre project.
Is 'The Matrix' nearer than we think?
The concept that the film 'The Matrix' explored of people moving in and out different worlds has clearly come true for some of us.
I love the idea that Leigh and I are able to communicate and work together together over a huge distance in such a way that he felt I was still physically in his geographical location. It gives me a sense of comfort - that I am not forgotton now that I have moved away from Dunedin.
Sorting out the virtual from reality
But at the same time, how much of a problem is it when reality starts to merge with the virtual in this way? Are we isolating ourselves from people who have no access to the Internet - have no ability to have a virtual life? Does that matter? What harm can come of this integration of 'real' and online/virtual life? Is The Matrix going to take over our humanity as forecast?
Image: 'The Matrix' Nick Slide