• Maybe, but I think it is much more rewarding and "honest" to live most of your life in the real world rather than just on the internet. Internet friendships are wonderful, but I don't think anyone should ONLY have that in their life. I hope face-to-face relationships never lose popularity. Nothing better than looking into someone's eyes when you're talking to them. Excellent question g!!
  • i think life is way to precious to be living in the "virtual world"... there are so many cool people to interact with. and so many beautiful things to discover or find out about. it seems liek you might be tlaking about dating online, i could be worng, but if so, there are so many peopel who have been raped, seriously manipulated, and even killed when caught up in the virtual world... so no, i think real life is much better.... and virtual is a simple escape at times.
  • I dont think it would be as fulfilling that is for sure, but i suppose you could do that, as for your 2nd question, i believe there is something more valuable in a face to face interaction, for one you can get a sense of how a person really feels instead of just looking at a Lol, and not knowing if they really laugh or not. Face to face is much better.
  • Depends on the quality of the simulator. I think there´s a chance for it to be even better than real life, if, for example, most of the world population lives there 247, it stimulates your 5 senses just the right way, and the entire world dynamics are taken in account, with extreme precision. It could even make the impossible... possible.
  • current VR is still missing 3 senses touch,smell and taste. Sight is still a 2D thing. Until the UI comes with multi, direct, neural feeds you will not be able to beat the real thing. Who are you going to trust to do the wired interface into your brain. Better yet, even when the technology becomes routine on lower animals and trusted in other primates, which governments will OK it testing and use in humans. On whom do you start. Stroke patients first, convicts? Basket case retarded. Who are the cyborgs to be.(place commas for your taste in emphasis, please)
  • Yes, for the ones that have issues with social situations, it is a Godsend. I dont think with friendships, it is any more valuable, I have friends here that are just as close as the friends in my "real" life. I probably know more about my internet friends, than the ones in real life, they open up more on the internet.
  • Hugs. +5
  • NO way we are social animals
  • i can say this, some of us don't have much choice. i would have no social life during the heat of the summer or the bitter cold of winter if not for online. i am so grateful for my online life while my offline life is put on a temporary hold. i love my active social life on ab it fulfills and emptiness that would be there otherwise. +5
  • Nope just a deluded one. A friend technically is: a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard. a person who gives assistance; patron; supporter a person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile. Now while you can argue that these things can be done online, unless your in a 23 hour lockdown prison cell you cannot possibly maintain sanity and relationships without human contact. It's why felons, nerds, geeks, weirdo’s etc are rejected by society not because of who they are but their lack of etiquette and mannerisms, which you cannot practice online.
  • Face to face interactions are important because we give off so many clues about what we really mean, not what we are writing or saying. For instance, I could tell you I am a millionaire on the internet but realy be a homeless bum. If you see me in person, you would probably pick that up quickly who I really am.
  • I think there are two extremes that each have their weaknesses: 1- Online life is just as rich as real life (false) 2- Online life isn't "real" somehow (false). For the first, I think the question is "what sort of interactions are possible in each domain?". To a large degree, the differences in those lists is what relegates online life to a "second best" status in most comparisons. On the other hand, online life has some advantages, such as the ability to interact with people at great distance, and the obscuring of irrelevant details like race and age in relationships. For the second, it seems a lot of people think the Internet is "just a bunch of web sites" and that online relationships aren't real or something. This is patently false... technically, it's "reductionist". It's like saying a car is just a bunch of rubber and steel: that's sort of true, but it's the kind of useless truth that discards most of the important insights. Online relationships are real, online interaction is real, but of course there are traps like the possibility that someone is pulling a Dreanna, and limitations based on the media and mode of communication. I would not be interested in trying to live most of my life online. There's a physical aspect to living that gets sacrificed too much. How can I play basketball with buddies online? It's not the same thing at all as playing a video game. I think online life enriches life in general, and it's a mistake to try to make it a substitute.
  • Being online has been useful in knowing my S/O in a deeper way. Virtual reality is very limited. Reality, being together in real life, there is no substitute.
  • Good question! I would have to say that it depends entirely upon the individual and the circumstances surrounding them. I mean, in real life we have people perfectly happy to live solitary lives with little, if any, human interaction for long periods of time. But as a rule, humans are social creatures. We tend to thrive when we are around other humans. And to do this, we interact using all of our senses, and then incorporate the information we receive this way to form our world view. Sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell are ALL important, holistically speaking, when we interact. They work together to give us a more complete picture, to paint the details and colors of our relationships in a more vivid, meaningful, and life-like fashion. They add depth. One who lives, or attempts to live, an almost entirely virtual life deprives himself of much of the sensory input he is designed by nature to utilize for socialization and survival. Therefore the mind has LESS to work with to form conclusions and must, as a result, make up the differences in other ways: mostly by filling in the gaps with assumptions, which may or may not be very accurate. For instance, the visual and audible impact of a dialog is completely missing here. You cannot see my little mannerisms, you cannot hear the inflections of my voice. I can communicate volumes which carry tremendous meanings by how I carry myself and how I speak which I cannot readily translate into writing; nor are people able to readily pull these things out of this text. Any man with a wife or a girlfriend, for example, has gotten "the look" for doing or saying something stupid. An entire afternoon of diatribe and ranting can be conferred in the space of a few seconds. I suppose you could say that Spicy Hot communicates volumes with that belly button in her avatar. But then people like me will just end up earning some more communication from "the look" from their wives because of it... :):):) Without those added dimensions which come with all those senses, it is much more difficult to gain a real, accurate understanding of those we interact with. Not impossible, given time and enough interaction. But still, limited. For example, for those of you who remember DreAnna, how many people would have been taken in by "her" actions here on Answerbag had they known "her" by more than just the limited virtual existence here? Not very darned many, if any, I would say. Personally, at the current state of virtual technology and availability, I would say that the VAST majority of us are far better off utilizing this as a SUPPLIMENT to their real world existence, not a substitute. Only a very tiny fraction of people are truely benefited by trying to live an almost entirely virtual existence. And by this, I mean people who literally have no other choice due to circumstances beyond their control. People who are physically or mentally handicapped and cannot interact easily, or at all, with the real world, for example.
  • Yes, there IS something more valuable in face-to-face interactions. You can SEE their reactions, and KNOW when they've taken something the wrong way, or need further explanation. The written word (as here on AB) is very dry. You don't get the inflections - tone and volume - of the voice. Capitalization is ASSUMED to be "shouting" or emphasis, but could simply be that one doesn't like having to deal with the caps button. In real-life, you KNOW what people mean - You can see hurt or confusion in the eyes and on the face. You can also see if they truly "got the joke" when you tell one, or if they "took it the wrong way", and can hastily explain, if necessary. Can you live at least a partially fulfilled life on the 'net? Sure. In real life, you are relatively limited in your contacts with others - Neighbors (much more "keep-to-yourself" now than years ago), church (for those who still go), school (if you go), the stores, work, and maybe a few other place you frequent, and that's about it. Of course, friends introduce you to friends, but it's STILL limited. Virtually (internet-wise) your pools of friends expands greatly. The neighborhood becomes the whole world. Church is, again, worldwide - those who agree and disagree, and kind of force you to think about your beliefs. Everything else can expand, too. Of course, the friendships are not quite the same, since you have no physical contact with most, but the can be just as deep and abiding as real-life, and hurt just as bad when something happens. It, of course, depends on your personality, and how and how well you can express yourself online, whether people will like you. Then again, you can find people from all over the world who agree or disagree with you. And, then there are those who CANNOT get out into the real world. Many have found ways to be fulfilled online. It's not impossible, in fact, it's relatively easy, especially on sites like AB, Facebook, MySpace, and other social networks. But, as in the real-world, there are those who DON'T like you, or mean you harm. The difference between real-life and virtual, then, is the safety of distance, and lack of real bullets or knives. There are ways and there are ways. If you're looking, you can find the right way for you. ;-)
  • I think a balance of both is good, We can interact with others round the world and it shrinks. It must help understanding if we communicate. We can be ourselves on the internet sometimes in a way we cannot in face to face situations. There is however no substitute for the ability to touch see and smell others. We cannot live in cyberspace alone.
  • I think we all have a natural emotional biological innate need for Human company. I have read about how Science Fiction Authors envision a world with little or no Human contact. I would not want to live there. I treasure my Family and the few close friends I have. I like speaking to people here but I actually like people. If some of you lived near by I meet for Coffee. I am happy to speak with you here but I need more.

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