Is your virtual life different from your real life?


[This is the english version of my german entry “Das virtuelle Leben als Spielart des ersten – oder als komplette Alternative?]

I saw on Techcrunch an article about a new social software site called Rupture will have a plugin for Wow and that they want World of Warcraft Users as their beta testers. Which is a clever move: Instead of getting us beta junkies they use testers with an actual need to use the service.

But it got me wondering about something: How many people really use the net as a tool to enhance how they live / work / have fun in their first live and for how many people is this really different?

My contact page only lists some of the services I am using and it is already a mess, but if you would have a deeper look at it, you would see that they are all tied in together, you usually find my nick on forums to be nixande etc. You can research what I say and do pretty good job. (Still you will be missing out on the parts of my personality and life I intentionally do not share with anyone online but with close friends.)

So for a person like me a new social software site which has the intention to allow me to integrate rather than force me to reenter data is compelling. I want technology to help me and make my life easier. There are several inventions I am really waiting for to finally make the step from Science Fiction to reality.

I might choose from time to time to ‘make’ such a second identity for different purposes, but generally I am ‘myself’. But that is me. What about you?

Do you prefer to keep those lives seperate and do not wish them to mix? To which length do you go to keep them separated or the oposite, get them ‘together’? Would a service which let’s you integrate your data more easily be more attractive or do you find this to be creepy because it feels like with google when “all your data are belong to us”?

Do you want your Second Life to be just that – a second one, with no or few interactions to your first one? Do you want your chat identity to stay hidden, or do you want the benefit of not needing to care about which irc networt you are just entering because your friends will recognize you right away?

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