Is having "another online life" good or bad?

David Warlick asks if this is bad or good, basically that companies are asking you to do advertisements for their product (that you know nothing about) and post them to youtube. He also discusses how many people are using the Internet to “become somebody else.” Here is what Dave has to say:

This really strikes a nerve with me because if it works soon everybody will be putting themselves in ads saying things for money that they don’t believe. But that’s what ads are after all.

Does this bother you? Is this what ads are for? Do all of our students know that this is what ads are for? What if we asked students to create TV, radio, or print ads for a product, and then ask the class (or other classes on line) to rate the ads based on their likelihood that they would buy the product. Might they then have a better understand of what ads are for?

I've been considering this for a while and would like to share with you my response:

I think that if a person truly believes in Mega Globe,then fine, go for it. However, I believe the world is getting bigger and smaller at the same time. Personal integrity has decreased over the years because of masses, now because of the individual accountability of blogging, I think that personal beliefs and character are now front and center.

I’ve struggled with people telling me to put Google Adsense on my blog and perhaps there is nothing inherently wrong with it, but I cannot control what I endorse. Because of this, I cannot at this time put it on my website.

In the small town I am from, your word means everything. To be an ethical, meaningful participant, our word must mean something. We must learn the web is real life and not a second one and that myspace is not truly “my space” it is the world’s space! We must teach it and must practice it!

I think we have problems now because many are living their lives with no accountability. I have “accountability” people who know me and see me for all of my blogs. It makes me think twice. It helps me remember that THIS IS REAL and not just some alter ego pseudo persona of me.

Words can build up or destroy as can images and we must be accountable. Life isn't a joke and neither is the Internet. (Although I do think we should have fun while we're here.)

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2 thoughts on “Is having "another online life" good or bad?

  1. Interesting that you bring this up at a time that I am wondering the same thing. As I have several different blogs to which I post for different reasons, I often wonder if people realize that, by posting their picture and their thoughts, they are now saying to the world “here I am. This is me.” But is it really? I have glimpsed at a few blogs/groups only to find that some of them describe how they lead double lives. I agree that we need to have students realize that this IS real life and what they do on and off need to be congruent. Maybe we do need to look more at advertising. Maybe it needs to be one of the big literacy items we teach so that our students are aware of the way that the companies are trying to get them to buy, at almost any cost. See my post for 6 things I thing educators need to do for this to take off. http://www.kwhobbes/edublogs.org

  2. Vicki, just wanted to draw your attention to another use of Second Life…how about a Second Life church? Check out what LifeChurch.tv is doing with their internet campus!! Once your on their main church website, click on the internet campus link and you’ll see some great testimony of how God is using Second Life to change life!!

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