Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Things as they really are -what is real, anyway?

What is real? Is it relative, or absolute? Something that is real to me (my faith in a higher power, for example) may not be real to someone else, and that's a perfectly valid difference between them and me. Even with differences like this, I think there are some lines that should not be crossed but which can be all too easy to cross without even knowing it, with regards to living a healthy reality.

These thoughts have come to my mind most recently because of the talk I heard yesterday by David A. Bednar. He spoke about seeing things as they really are, and of the dangers of becoming too entangled with virtual people and worlds. Amazing and sad about the man who spent countless hours going for drives, window shopping, buying a house, a dog, and in the end proposing marriage to someone he has never met other than as an avatar on his computer....doing all this for up to 14 hours a day, while his bride of 7 months watched tv in an adjoining room and felt helpless and betrayed by his behaviour.

That's an extreme case, sure. What about the forums I visit? Am I placing the online conversations and friendships I have with people I've never met, over real flesh and blood relationships? I think I did once, but no more. No more. It's just not worth it. Escape...this is probably one of the prime motivators for this type of behaviour. Seems to satisfy, but in the end it does you about as much good as reading a cookbook does for someone who's starving.


Jac's Mum said...

I haven't read the article you linked to yet, but wanted to say, before I do, that I've always thought of my "webfriends", not that I have a lot, in the same vein as penpals, but quicker, and without the necessary trip to Aust Post. I think web browsing time can be a huge vacuum, though, where you're right - you're not in the here and now, attending to what is going on around you. But on the other hand, stuff is going on, on the other side of the world, and you can see, read and think a lot on that, without waiting for a word-of-mouth version.

Threads of Light said...

Yes to the value of communicating over the internet, I've learned so much I'd never have come across any other way.