Wednesday, June 3, 2009

What IS real life? (Defining terms)

I have heard this question or debate from several different quarters lately. This is usually paired with, but many times independent of, the oft seen phrase of sl is sl, and rl comes first. So please allow me to define what the term rl means me as well as to most of the people that I have known, in and out of world.

RL(real life) interaction takes place between 2 people, at least, who are physically in the same room. It includes RL obligations like SO(significant Other), bills, career, school, etc. There is not other way to mean RL.

What is sometimes used as an alternate definition of RL is the RL exchange that occurs with 2 people, or more, are involved in a long distance relationships. This is in no way a less valid relationship, however it does not fit the definition of a RL relationship. An LD (long distance) relationship may involve following rl directions.

Following RL directions takes place when 2 people, who may be separated by miles, time zones, or even hemispheres interact, and one is following the directions of the other in real time, either in voice or text.(sometimes cam, which carries many risks BTW)

SL or VR (Virtual Reality) is still interaction between real people in real time. However, it may be taking place between 2 people that are both in the moment, OR one/both people are simply playing a role. This would be more akin to a pure RP scenario than honest rl emotional exchange and investment of one person to another.

Does this mean that the bonds formed, the love that develops, the caring or anger that exists when in sl or vr is any less real? Not one bit! The impact that I feel, the emotional attachments, even love that develops between people on-line is very, very real.

But if I say that I live in a rl 24/7 relationship, that means still the physical presence of the 2 people involved. Please make no mistake about this. This is the commonly accepted definition.

What I have offered is strictly a definition of terms, but sometimes the discussions involving rl vs sl can be so confusing, I felt compelled to clearly deliniate between the levels of involvement.

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