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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Breaking a habit: No more RL for me

I've been thinking about it for years. The whole RL (Real Life) thing is blitheringly daft. Your life is your life whether your computer is switched on or not. You don't suddenly tell someone that you're on the phone with ("Telephone Life"? No way!) that you've got to go do something in Real Life. Well, except by force of habit.

Well, this is a habit I'm going to try to break. Being online is my job, and a large part of my play. It's where I earn my living. I pay my bills online. I prepare and pay my taxes online.

No more RL for me. Just AFK. AFK is the part of my life when I'm not at the keyboard (and coincidentally, not actually earning money or working at my jobs), but AFK makes more sense overall.


  1. I've been grappling with this one for a while not too, and will join you in breaking the know it only takes 23 days to break a habit, be it a good one or a bad one.

  2. Anonymous7:23 AM

    What I find even dumber is when people talk about knowing someone in twitter vs RL. Uh. It's twitter. A web page.

    OTOH, I do know or have seen a lot of people in SL for whom the "RL" thing makes sense, because they're essentially acting as though RL doesn't exist. You see it a lot. It's fine if they are playing cowboys in tombstone or star trek geeks somewhere, but it's kind of creepy and scary when the majority of them are pretty avs playing dolly and pretending that's the sum of who they are. Yick.

  3. I've been using RL and IRL for more than 25 years now. Once, it made some sense. Not anymore.

  4. Good luck with that. I tried it too, trick was to find some other expression for that meaningless RL. "Being in meatspace" was too cryptic even for most of the SL people, "FL" sounds ridiculous, "off-line" had some success but sounds a bit.... weird. "AFK" misght be to good one. Will try.

  5. Anonymous8:59 AM

    I'm all for it, being of the same mind that my virtual self **IS** me (when I'm online), not an unreal fakery that is inferior in any way.

    As a man thinketh, etc. and calling the non-digital "real" implying the digital somehow doesn't exist, or matter, has always concerned me. It's almost an apology; not good.

    So I will give this a try. Now, please provide your declensions. ;-D

  6. RL? Meatspace? How does one get there? Can someone shoot an LM to me? It is not in Search.

  7. You know, I'm sure that some day soon, some marketer who earns as much as we do combined is going to come along with some online platform or virtual environment and name it RL, just to cash in.

  8. Hi Tateru,

    It seems to me that this kind of question is not trivial, because the words we use are the building blocks for the way we think and how we perceive "reality".

    Since (from what you've shared) your daily activities, livelihood and relationships are focused on virtual activities, the implication that the domain is less-than-real demeans and trivializes the incredible work you're doing and the life your leading...I think it might be fair to call it a vocation?

    Thanks for sharing your personal wrestling match with semantic incongruity! I could go on, and on, but I'll spare you here and probably post something on my blog in a day or two.


  9. I think the single biggest failure Linden Labs made early on was calling Second Life "Second Life." I completely agree. Real life IS online, at least a decent portion or it, and not just for the edgy early-adopters, for everyone these days. Being on the phone is a very real part of being engaged in real life. For many, being in SL is no different than being on the phone. I've been sitting on a draft about this for two weeks now since meeting some real friends at Disney World after meeting them in SL. Thanks for the post. Time for me to finish it.

  10. It's a tough call.

    My tier in RL is insane, but great in SL.

    Noobs don't come up to me in RL asking for 30L cause they are new and..oh...wait...the homeless people. They are much more persistent than noobs who run off crying when I verbally abuse them as opposed to breaking a Mad Dog 20/20 bottle and slashing at me over the fifty cents I wouldn't hand over.

    Well - SL it is. See ya there.

  11. I wish I had one iota of your bravery - still looking for a RL job instead of throwing it all to the fishpedoes.

  12. Hooray! And thank you. I have been struggling with this - especially since I met the man I am going to marry AFK in Second Life :)

  13. That's *great* news! :) Congratulations!


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