What is real? Is it that strange beggar on the side of the street, or is it that strange chicken with purple font on your screen? Deep in the UBA, things that uninformed people (i.e. non-SBMBers) call "real" are becoming a...reality on the boards.
With the introduction of the chat to the SBMB in late August, friendships have intensified. The room, consisting of a bar, coffee table, big comfy chairs, a hospital wing, a fire pit, a closet, an altar, a bathroom, and off-set bedroom, it's many corners (thanks Alex, I almost forgot *thwaps self*), and sometimes even an ocean for our pirate ship, has been considered by many a Great Game. But, with our many adventures has come some serious bonding. Recently, a dear friendly pig has been imprisoned by her real homes master pig; she is banned from chat. The result in chat when she delivered the news was tragic we really cried.
As a great wise musician once said on YTV, "if something happens to someone and it affects you emotionally" that's real. So, why is it that being an active member of an online community will bring forth such comments as "get back to reality" from the Uninformed?
Our friendships, whether we know it or not, have led us in seeking further realNess: we have started hearing voices. With the wonderful inventions of mics and instant messaging systems, the residents of the UBA have avoided phone bills altogether! We have spent long hours exchanging photos and voice chatting. Even though we sit and listen to each other type for the most part, we're still hearing our wonderful chat/board friends.
Some friendships have made us so trustful and bold that some even write letters to one another and meet each other in person. And, with Potterfest and Biggerfest fast approaching, soon the Uninformed will have no way of distinguishing reality from virtual reality. But really, virtual reality? I think not!
We all know about the risks of internet fraud, but with photos and voices (and in some cases webcams), it is very hard to believe any of us could be creepy old men. Yet, the parental units are less trusting.
Another real aspect about our world that mustn't be overlooked: attachment. Do you find yourself overcome with the urge to run to the computer at random times during the day? Do you relate real incidents back to the chat? At the end of December, a UBA resident endured a chat-related eye injury and was sent to a real hospital. All the time she was in the waiting room, she was writing a post in her mind asking to see Dr. Kratt. While to the Uninformed this seems obsessive, it is merely attachment. We are a Turkish family after all. But, there is also the bad sort of attachment: addiction. (See Ness's article in BW #3) To sum up, if the addict is deprived of chat, this can lead to the creation of a Fluffy-like creature who eats people.
So, what really is real? Are the Uninformed right? Do friendship, trust, voices, images, addresses, and telephone numbers not count for anything? Uninformed they are, and uninformed they'll stay.