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A Second Life? Thanks, but I'm OK with only One.

I remember the first time I logged onto AOL. I was probably about 12 years old, and the whole “online thing� was fascinating to me. I had heard the craze about this new thing called a chat room. I decided to give it a whirl, and I was amazed when I entered in on this group of people typing back and forth to each other. For a while, I just sat and watched. I eventually learned that you had to randomly pick someone you wanted to talk to, and address them. Its strange how on this first experience, I immediately knew that I didn’t have to be myself. The question, “What do you look like� eventually came, and the chance to be someone different appeared. In this fake world, I was 17 years old and a senior in High School. Times changed, and eventually AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) was the common means of communication. To keep my identity safe, I knew not to use my real name, so instead I used a pseudonym. At first, I was very cautious with who I gave my name out to on the internet. However, now I have come to realize that for the most part, keeping a separate identity is not that big of a deal any more. I personally do not use the internet to enter a different realm like Turkle addresses in “Identity in the Age of the Internet�. I have never had an online relationship, and don’t ever plan on it. However, it seems that with each passing year, society starts to accept the “online dating process� more and more.

Turkle also talks about how people are becoming more and more involved in online communities such as IRC. After taking a deeper look into Second life, I began to think how primitive online features such as simple text chat rooms, and even current programs such as IRC have allowed the creation of Second Life to take place. In a theoretical sense, IBM has simply taken the community that has been built online over the past years, and expanded it to a three dimensional setting. However, I’m not sure that I completely agree with David Kirkpatrick, author of “Second Life: It’s not a Game� on Second Life becoming the sol way people use the internet in the future. Rather, I predict that it will simply remain as a form of entertainment for people instead of being truly integrated as the considered norm for the internet medium. Turkle explains about one woman who feels that when on IRC, she is very popular, but in real life, she is the exact opposite. By using this example, I can see that a large majority of the population enjoys having a second identity on the internet, however, I do not see them having the time, or the need to have a complete second life. I personally would rather put the equivalent time and energy into making my “real life� better.