"For some time I have found SL draining, and it's also starting to become dull, I just can't find things to do and I just feel I'm wasting my time. I don't know if this is because the people I grew up with are gone, or I'm just not making new friends, or both."After reading her post and reflecting on the many others I've known who have either left Second Life or drastically reduced their virtual activity, it struck me that there's probably a psychosocial lifecycle for avatars that mirrors Erikson's stages for humans:
- Hope: Trust vs. Mistrust (Infants, 0 to 1 year)
- Will: Autonomy vs. Shame & Doubt (Toddlers, 2 to 3 years)
- Purpose: Initiative vs. Guilt (Preschool, 4 to 6 years)
- Competence: Industry vs. Inferiority (Childhood, 7 to 12 years)
- Fidelity: Identity vs. Role Confusion (Adolescents, 13 to 19 years)
- Love: Intimacy vs. Isolation (Young Adults, 20 to 34 years)
- Care: Generativity vs. Stagnation (Middle Adulthood, 35 to 65 years)
- Central tasks of Middle Adulthood
- Wisdom: Ego Integrity vs. Despair (Seniors, 65 years onwards)
There are many reasons this ennui or disillusionment can happen. In some cases we have taken virtual experience in an area as far is it can go. For instance, an intimate relationship that one of the participants needs to extend to human identity. Or it could be that we reached a point of development in one of the areas where hard (and perhaps unpleasant) work is required to break through to the next stage. For instance an artist whose initial creative work has grown stale.
Whatever the underlying cause, it is not surprising that when we reach the point where we feel stuck and can not see any light at the end of the tunnel, we choose to get out of Digital Dodge in search of the new frontier. Perhaps that's a good strategy. Or maybe we would be better off persevering through the long dark night of the virtual soul. Because whatever barrier we must transcend to reach the next level of development, we will need to face it in whatever world we run to.
Oh yeah. Today's Big Bad Blogger Challenge topic is "What's my age again?"
Answer: I'm a fictional character without a biological age.SL Bloggers - Is your avatar more or less your current biological age? Do you portray a younger avatar, or older? Why is this? RL Bloggers - Do you lie about your age? Do you think you act your age? Are you where you thought you'd be at your current age?