Like many of my classmates, I had also never heard of Second Life until reading the chapter in Levinson's book. I also had a similar reaction. I personally find the social network to be disturbing and creepy. I do not see any appeal in it. I thought it was interesting to learn that some businesses and companies use Second Life to conduct meetings and discuss matters without having to pay the travel expenses and coordinating schedules. However, those are just the expectations of such a job. I do not find it very necessary to conduct business in this way. Any other activity on Second Life such as paying actual money to buy virtual items and having sexual relations with other avatars completely boggles my mind.
I found the video below on Youtube. I think it's a funny yet accurate depiction of what Second Life activity would look like in real life. Levinson's chapter on Second Life didn't really delve into the movement of the social network. I was hoping he would elaborate on the movement and dynamic of the avatars. However, I read in an article that movements on Second Life are very jerky. This is shown in the video with people running into walls and furniture. The scenes of people typing on an imaginary keyboard while standing right in front of the other person is a good representation of the impersonal conversation held in Second Life through the chat option. Why chat in this way with a complete stranger? Why not actually engage in conversations with friends and family, or go out and form real friendships and relationships with people in actual locations. The fact that people want a "Second Life" is confusing to me. It seems to me that the social network site in a sense encourages people to avoid the reevaluation of their real lives by simply creating another virtually. In my opinion, if these people are using this site in the first place, their lives may in fact need some reevaluating. Harsh as that may be. Well, I got a good laugh out of the video and I hope you all do too!