Negatives of the Virtual World

Technology is a tool that can manipulate people into doing something they never thought they would actually do. Sherry Turkle talks about how huge of an impact technology are in the virtual world. When I watched the video, Big Thinkers, I saw how the virtual world impacts people for the worse in the real world. There are positives with the virtual world, but the negatives oversee them.

Virtual reality has been a major impact for the worst on the users. I agree whole heartedly what Sherry Turkle said about when it’s not so much of what the technology is doing for us, but for what the technology is doing to us. We are seeing people create avatars to bring them pleasure. I think this could be a bad result for people using it. Alexandra Alter explains in her article, Is This Man Cheating on His Wife?, “Nearly 40% of men and 53% of women who play online games said their virtual friends were equal to or better than their real-life friends, according to a survey of 30,000 gamers conducted by Nick Yee, a recent Ph.D. graduate from Stanford University.” For example, in the article Ric Hoogestraat had the same issue with his relationship by creating an avatar in his image. We are seeing people want the perfect friend, boyfriend or girlfriend the way they want them to be. However, the emotions change for a person when they create someone to their image. They become more engaged and excited for a virtual person than a real life person. It’s not right for virtual people to take control of others mind, but that is what men and women are doing now. I can understand when people have fantasies about having the perfect person, but once they take action that is a problem.

Cyberspace is when we don’t have any boundaries holding us back on what we want to do. “Cyberspace is no more separate from the realities of the physical world than the mind is unrelated to the body.” However, a disadvantage for people is that too much power in the wrong hands can be detrimental. Turkle mentions she experienced that when somebody used her name as a character in a virtual community. This could have hurt her creditability as how the other users portray her in the virtual world. Also, people will look at her differently and treat her not the same way as others in the real world. That gives us questions about how this will affect the future.

Sherry comments about how children and people are so attractive to robotics because they are reaching out to us. I agree when she said when we are vulnerable to an object, we bond together. A negative is how a person’s mind and body are in control in the virtual world. There is no difference between the two in both real and virtual. “Everything you see, hear, feel, taste and smell is an interpretation of what’s outside, and created entirely inside your head.” Some people use their mind and body in different ways. For example, I experienced this on Second Life when people were having a conversation with me. One avatar that a person was controlling thought that I was cute. Just by knowing the person knows nothing about me thinks I’m attractive just by looking at my avatar is creepy. This shows that the body and mind change drastically in the virtual world.

Virtual reality can cause people to be socially challenged. When you talk to people in the virtual world, you are more comfortable because people are relying on virtual people to talk besides their self. We see how when people create different avatars, it changes how a person interacts with one another. “After game play was over, these effects lingered on into real life. This evidence that avatars can deeply psychologically affect us and perhaps even alter our personalities.” We sometimes don’t see the same person we saw before when they play video games because how much impact it makes. However, we see other people try to go for a much more serious relationship than others in the virtual world. It makes a huge difference on how people socialize in the real world.

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