No doubt, virtual reality will change the way behave, as will social networking across the various internet platforms. We will be more connected, more communicated, more informed, more educated and in many ways more aware. This minds of this interactive networked generation will develop far faster than ours did. Thats all good news ? Or are we missing a beat here ? All this connectivity/interactivity /social interaction is done through the computer screen, not in person. Where you can hide behind an avatar, an alias.. Discover game playing, learn social behavior, but where u can remain anonymous, or just switch yourself or the other entity off when it gets uncomfortable. Or plain bored. Are we developing into a society that no longer possesses skills for real life relationships ?
In real life we fight, we confront, we play games, we are both confronted and comforted by grand parents, parents, brothers, sisters, friends…..We role play with each other, and are unable to switch off the other or ourselves. We must learn skills to handle real life situations, and so over time we learn social and interpersonal behavior. And so much of our real life relationship involves human touch. Loving, hugging, holding hands, wrestling, throwing your arms a friend, or even being slapped and hurt sometimes. Even traditional toys like girls playing with dolls that involved the touch and feel of smooth or furry shapes, are being replaced by virtual dolls. real pets by virtual pets. We have a special relationship between our creative selves and our hands. Our hands express our feelings in so many ways. So many ways more than typing on a keyboard.
So what is going to happen to the generation that has to get into real life relationships after learning virtual role playing only ? Are they consigned to a life of ‘real life’ loneliness, more and more relying on virtual worlds to communicate and relate ?
Is our biology ready to handle a life where the loving touch of another human being, or a pet, or a even a toy, is not part of our everyday experience ? Or is this going to lead to early depressions, alleviated only by prozac like substances to compensate for basic biological needs ?