A Tragic Waste of Life, A Reply.

18 09 2010

Recently, Myf Warhurst wrote an article about her own experience with Secondlife, which sadly had been rather negative. As those of us who have gone through the early stages of avatar childhood have found, it’s not easy.

Chiming in at the comments section were a band of the usual suspects who claim the internet is an oubliette of everything evil… while ironically using the same mechanism to vent their frustrations, how bizarre.

Social media can be like choosing a musical instrument to learn and play.

I’ve seen people do really well with one social network, yet completely flop at another. if you find that you’re no good on the piano but do well on guitar, it doesn’t mean the piano sucks and is only for idiots, right?

Therefore if Twitter and Facebook don’t do it for you, then perhaps Skype is more your thing.

The Movie “Beautiful Kate” demonstrated a great use for Secondlife, Rachel Griffiths played the Daughter of a dying Father. Alone in the outback with nobody around for miles, she used Secondlife to meet with a group of people, it would have come in handy on long lonely outback nights.

I have mentioned before that users of Secondlife are often stuck in remote locations or not well enough to get out of the house and meet people, as according to those who would never use the internet insist we must always do.

A friend of mine works as a miner in NSW, he works really hard, often at odd hours. He lives about 200km away from his family and shares his home with his animals.

But naturally he wants to have some sort of human contact, quite difficult when you’re way out in the bush and the local pub and cafes are not open at 4am, and frankly, who wants to go out again when you’re utterly beat?

About four years back, after some persuasion by friends on other social networks, he decided to try Secondlife.

Initially he was against it, he had some pre-conceived ideas about Secondlife and it’s users, but once he tried it
he was sold. He even went as far as buying an entire island with a friend, which can be quite an expensive thing to do, most people who use Secondlife don’t buy an island.

When I pay him a visit, his avatar is frequently standing with a group of three or four others, they don’t role play or play a game, they talk about exactly the same things that people would if they met in real life, and so do I.
Talking on Secondlife, with a group of friends is far better than speaking to just one on the phone, and if your friends are interstate or overseas, then it also works out to be a very cheap conversation.

We internet users take quite a lot from the media, and even other internet users, which is quite strange really.

There have always been passive hobbies where people sit for a long time, especially during winter when it’s too cold for anything else. Some people sit for days knitting, sewing, painting or writing, is there anything wrong with that?

For me, I loved being home with my parents and my animals. as long as I was home, I was happy. and besides, I had stacks of 45s which I loved to sit and listen to, I was obsessed with music, and nobody had any objections to it… Well no, there were some who thought that I should have been down the park, kicking a ball around, but that was simply not me.

The internet is mocked by all and sundry, they roll their eyes and sigh, things were better in our day. when a womans place was in the home and there weren’t any poofs, and we all went to church on a sunday.

Of course, television was acceptable, although our teachers hated it, “Chewing gum for the mind” they called it, and warned that our generation would grow up unable to think for ourselves because of the stupidity on the tube.

I doubt they considered Jim Henson, Professor Julius Sumner Miller, David Attenborough and shows like Beyond 2000, New Inventors and Catalyst which routinely broadened the mind instead of stunting it like our teachers thought it would.

I often watch TED which is an internet program of sorts, where intelligent people get up on stage for about fifteen minutes and tell us what they’re into, it’s a bit like show and tell for adults, and some of the talks are completely brilliant.

Facebook is all this, Twitter is all that, It’s ruining kids brains, eyes and postures, whatever will come of the next generation?

Relax, it’s just a little bit of history repeating, what became of us with our monophonic colour TVs, Countdown and Walkmans? We grew up mostly intact like everyone else, and I’m certain the next generation will too.

In fact, according to one TED speaker, we’re getting smarter, despite what news stories about Tea Party members would have you believe.

I’ve tried it all, and it’s all good, I’m sure that Today Tonight would be most bitter that I haven’t come to a terrible fate such as being stewed up by some sort of Hannibal Lecter character who found me on Facebook.

Being through what I’ve been through in the last five years, if anything, the internet has saved me, and I’ve met many wonderful friends who, yes, I’ve met in real life and continued to be good friends with them after the fact.

If there was no internet, then chances are that I would have sat at home and not gone out to meet people, as I’m a very shy person who keeps a very low profile in public and rarely speaks to anyone, having had the internet and engaging with people, I’ve come out of my shell a heck of a lot and am no longer scared to say hello or ask a question.

The internet as a whole has done me a lot of good, a waste of life? surely not.

And Myf, I invite you to try again, please do!

Myfs original article from National Times


Myfs article also spoke about The Laneways Project at ABC Island. I have seen the real thing as I live fairly close to it, I can get on the train and be there in about thirty minutes. But the fact is, Friends and Family rather inconveniently tend to live in other states and countries, and as much as I’d like my friends from Oklahoma, London, Perth and Amsterdam to join me for a cuppa at the laneways, they can’t, at least not until someone invents teleportation.

The Laneways Project gave people an idea of what a part of Melbourne looked like, it appealed to Secondlife users and I dare say that some who may not have considered visiting Melbourne before, may have decided otherwise because of what they’d seen there in Secondlife.



4 responses

18 09 2010
Gumby Roffo

Awww sends Hugs to both Wolfie and Myf. Wolfie for being a great mate over my time using Secondlife (and yes I’m another remotely located bloke). Myf just because you sound like you need one and you have entertained me so much from Spicks & Specs and the J’s. If you ever need any help with SL just drop me an IM and I’ll see what can be done.

19 09 2010

I enjoyed reading this.

19 09 2010

Food for thought re Secondlife, which I’ve often been dismissive about. Thanks for sharing.

20 09 2010
The Watch – virtual worlds in the news : The Metaverse Journal – Virtual World News

[…] (Note: click here for a great rebuttal of Warhurst’s article) […]

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