Real life or virtual life, which do you prefer?
A hard question to ask, perhaps, is: Just how much of the virtual world has been integrated into our real, everyday lives without thought or consequence? How many Facebook friends have replaced our real friends, how many online gaming guilds replaced our group of buddies? How many times have we wished that the online world was the real deal?
While most would easily give the answer ‘real life’ without thought, probably out of reflex or instinct, there are others who would honestly prefer the virtual world. Here is why:
You live your virtual life however you please. Obviously, the saying ‘live your life as you want to’ is still true to some extent, there are still limitations. That is probably the most important point: the virtual world is pretty much limitless. The potential is boundless, and you can live your virtual life without too many consequences. On the other hand, real life requires you to be skilled at something, anything, to make a living, make sure you have food on the table, and generally ensure your survival. Almost everything you do will have an underlying consequence, so you are constantly doubling up on your decisions for fear of repercussions.
Another point would be for online gaming, which is usually the catalyst for such thoughts. Who does not love a good old MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) where you pick a class in some strange fictional world, follow a strange fictional story and defeat monsters with a couple of guildmates? For a lot of people, these worlds offer an escape from the dullness of reality, where the most excitement you get will probably come from a promotion or watching the big game.
Ah, the point of escape. Finally, there are some people who just feel completely awkward in the real world, whereas online, they are able to let their true personalities show through. They find themselves in a position where they will not truly be judged, or even if they do get judged, it will only come from the random faceless anonymous. These people are often the socially awkward, who have difficulty facing people on different occasions and who tend to shy away from group gatherings. Online, however, they are a leader, a terrific and charismatic speaker and very popular. It’s difficult to argue with the logic that even though you are still talking to a real person, you still have your monitor as a shield almost, protecting your identity and hiding your weaknesses.
These are all very valid points that anyone comfortable with theoretical situations should try thinking about it sometimes. It is quite easy for some people to simply say that real life will always be so much better than virtual life without even truly thinking about it from a different perspective than their own. This can be taken as a sign of either ignorance or apathy, whichever is less offensive.
However, even after looking at all these points, real life will always be better while the virtual world will always have its perks, and will always draw certain individuals who are, most probably, just completely tired of real life. It happens to the best of us, at least once, because life is tiring. Still, nothing can ever beat the truest of human interaction, where we can show affection on a physical and emotional level that cannot yet be trumped by interactions virtually. Perhaps down the line, with technology advancing at the rate it is, it may be somewhat possible. Virtual reality is a very real thing that will be optimized very soon. However, nothing yet has been able to replicate the warmth, relief and comfort of an embrace from a loved one.
Real life will always be harder, harsher and more stressful than virtual life, where most will be able to live without consequences. However, these are what make us, as human beings, more capable of inner strength, improvement, and compassion towards others. This is where we can level up, as you do in the virtual world, and become better versions of ourselves for our loved ones.
At the end of the day, real life is where we are currently living, and the best that we can do is to make the most out of it. It will always be tiring, grating and irritating at times though it is the life we have, so we might as well deal with it. The virtual world will always be there, with all its positive points, as a means of escape. However, we can also look at it as a means of improving our real lives, which is what it was made for in the first place. The answer may change, later down the line, but for now, it is all about turning lemons into lemonade.