“Who Am We?” by Sherry Turkle is a bit more interesting than I originally thought. The title annoyed me, but after reading it, I found that it really makes sense. At least it does to me. Turkle explores the nature of online identities where one person may carry on multiple different types of lifestyles. In many of the platforms, people will choose to be someone they could never be in real life. Is this bad? I’ve come up with this response: No and Yes.
Let’s start with the “No”. A simulation such as the SimsLife is a virtual world that a person will create and maintain. The type of world they virtually exist can be far different from their every day lives. It is a form of escape as much as it is an exploration. People using these platforms can be a people who like to have fun; something completely opposite from the work lifestyle they literally exist.
Of course the ability to explore different areas of one’s personality is important, but what about the effects the exploration has on the real world? Take a person who is very shy and they create a person who is the complete opposite. Someone who is liked by everyone and lives the type of life the real person cannot. Playing these games have more of a psychological impact than one would expect. Those shy people may feel that they come up short in real life and find that they prefer to seclude themselves deeper into shyness. It seems a little quaint, but the games do more than pass time.
Since “am” is designated for one person, but one person is branching off as many people; it seems to work out. That is why I became okay about the title of the article.