From the man on the beach to the Proteus Effect, everyone seems to faking it. They are lying about who they are and what they do and what they are interested in. They are putting on an act and pretending to be someone they are not. Perhaps that is what makes us human? Or maybe it comes from the societies that we live in or the friends we hang out with? Communication is an act, so that makes whoever takes part in it can be considered an actor. For the play of life there is no script or means of figuring out what exactly will happen next. From a very young age we begin to realize that some things we do are not accepted as normal to everyone else. That is when we begin our journey into thinking we are not normal and that we are not accepted. That is also when we make the realization that we can be accepted by everyone by changing who we are and becoming someone we think others will want to be friends with. At this point self esteem and our true selves fall by the wayside.
(image from http://image.yaymicro.com/)
I have had my own share of acting and pretending to be someone I thought others wanted me to be. Being in a wheelchair and having this disability has made it a little more difficult for me to seek acceptance. Of course, I still made a ton of friends and had a great time growing up, but I always compared myself to others. I used to think that everyone else could much more easily start a conversation or friendship than I ever could. It took me until my final year of high school to realize that everyone else has trouble forming friendships and relationships. At that point I finally decided to stop faking it and being someone I would never be. Being who I truly am is way better than spending the energy to act my part and worrying about the personality I was projecting every second of every day.
(image from http://www.soundbeings.com/)
I had tried to say this in response to Professor Sanchez’s question of whether I could ever make my avatar more human: “the restrictive settings of Second Life make it all but impossible to make an avatar match one’s true self.” Second Life is all about being that man on the beach and acting all tough and brave when the reality was far from that. It does not want its users to mirror their First Life in a universe designed to be limitless and a chance to start over with a blank slate. Instead, Second Life wants its participants to create an avatar that reflects the fake, sexualized society of the digital universe. In reality, though, that is what the real world is like too; a world full of people faking it to get ahead in life. Let us all do our best to change that, be who we truly are, and stop letting others define us! 🙂