Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Are Multiple Identities Contrary to a Life of Integrity

365.21 (blog version)

Yesterday I wrote on the new Transworlder's Community site:
I'm ready to be done with peering through the duality of SL vs. RL and the psychological, social and technical barriers that keep them apart. We live ONE LIFE through multiple identities, upon multiple worlds.
After sleeping on it, I realized that the post left the door open to a number of implications I did not intend to communicate. So I'm offering a couple additional points as clarification:
  1. Public pseudonymity IS compatible with the quest to live with integrity. There are many good reasons one might choose to use one or more publicly anonynous or pseudonymous identities, including their value as safe vehicles for online exploration.  That said, I do believe that witholding information is very different than providing false information. And that hiding important aspects of ourselves from our closest friends and significant others is detrimental to both our relationships and our self-acceptance.
  2. Integrity does not require one to look or act the same in every environment. No one would expect you to dress for work in the same clothes you use for camping, or chit chat with your your neighbor at their kitchen table with the same level of intimacy you share with your lover in bed (or on your kitchen table). The same concept holds true for virtual environments and relationships.  Integrity comes from acting from a unified set of ethical principals, not in having an avatar that looks and acts (god forbid) just like your human counterpart.
We are so much more than the sum of our parts, but we must integrate our diverse dimensions to synthesize our full potential.
"The artwork is, to be sure, a thing that is made, but it says something other than what the mere thing itself is, allo agoreuei. The work makes public something other than itself; it manifests something other; it is an allegory. In the work of art something other is brought together with the thing that is made. To brint together is, in Greek, symballein. The work is a symbol."  Martin Heidegger in The Origin of the Work of Art

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1 comment:

Pay said...

Working Identity (http://www.mcgraw-hill.com.au/html/9781578517787.html) discusses that most people are exploring various identities during their working careers, that it's an integral part of human development. Great points!