WHO NEEDS REAL LIFE ?
February 17, 2011 8 Comments
Who needs real life when we have i-Phone Apps and social networks that can emulate most of it, and make it feel even better than reality?
On February 8th, 2011 the Catholic Church gave their approval for an i-Phone app that allows do-it-yourself confessions called “Confessions: A Roman Catholic”. We already have existing Christian i-Phone apps for “The Daily Scroll” and “The Touchwood Bible”, and there is even an app “ichristian”, where you can learn how to become a Christian, register as one and actually even get a certificate to prove that you are one. All we need now is a recording of the Lord’s Prayer plus an app for “Sermons-on-line”, and one for handling wedding vows, and no one will ever need to physically go to church, particularly if the “Bury your own Dead” app I have planned gets over the opposition from the Undertakers Association.
I imagine that not to be left out the Chief Rabbi will now have to counter with an app for do-it-yourself circumcisions or at the least “Barmitvahs-r-us”. This would add to the Jewish i-Phone apps that already exist such as “iblessing”, which has blessings for food and other things, “siddur”, which covers prayers including morning and evening services, and even “Better Buy Au” which, for Jewish Aussies, compares prices in supermarkets and other retail stores so you can make sure that you are getting the best deal. I find this last one strange as I have always believed that being Jewish meant never having to buy anything at retail.
For many, social networks have taken over from the global village, the only difference is that what I say in our small village in France will have to live with me for at least 2 years, whereas what I say on Twitter or Facebook will last about 10 minutes at best. The other difference is that in real life I know that I can manage about 150 friends maximum (Dunbar’s number), whereas Facebook allows me 5000 (see “Fourth secret of success” posted November 4, 2010), which means that I can think of myself as being incredibly popular without actually ever having to physically meet anyone. You can post a photo that makes you look like the devil-may-care individual that you wish to portray, rather than someone who has been cowed and beaten down by life, or represent yourself with a photo of a Ferrari when you are actually closer to a Trabant in real life. For a long time I had a photo of my dogs on Facebook, which I have now replaced with a photo of me leaning on a fence with my head resting nonchalantly on one hand. The reality is that this pose enables my hand to pull back the skin on my face to adjust the double chin and smooth out the wrinkles at the same time.
Who needs real life when there are Avatar sites, such as IMVU where you can create your own fantasy life in 3D, and get away from the realities of a boring job and a demanding family, and where money and success are a given rather than a journey through life, and no matter what you eat or drink you can always look just like a young Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie in her teens. I haven’t joined IMVU because I couldn’t reconcile looking like a barely post-teens member of a boy band on his way to the beach or just coming back from a hard night out. I will keep looking for a fantasy world that lets me have an avatar that looks like Robert Redford when he was about 50, has the financial wisdom of George Soros and the energy of a 20 year old. After 45 years in Information Technology, I also know that there is a good chance that I will end up with an avatar that looks like George Soros, has the financial wisdom of a 20 year old, and the energy of Robert Redford who is now 75 years old.
If someone could just come up with smell surround and a true-to-life touch sensor pad we would never have to leave the house ever again, and we could all forget about real life.
Just remember that as Dr Grace Augustine says in the movie Avatar “Don’t play with that. You’ll go blind.”