The photo below is of one of my new projects, which I’ll tell more about soon. I’ve spent some time this week building and working with land in Second Life, which has hammered home the point that I can’t always multitask. When I’m building or moving in Second Life, I have to focus. I can’t multitask well when I’m moving or using both hands in the offline world, either. I’m forced to choose.
There are many times when I can lead a double existence, though. Today while attending Becky’s chat salon, my avatar sat on a couch, sipping red wine and listening to the discussion. Offline, I carried my laptop to the kitchen so that I could cook some potstickers and chow mein for dinner. I turned between stove and laptop for a while, one version of me immaculate in a maxi-dress and heels and the other a bit grubbier in yoga pants and a t-shirt.
On days with Formula 1 races, I curl on two couches: one digital and one physical. The television where I watch the race is in the offline world, but I rez a “television” in Second Life to show the ESPN live text commentary while my partner and I chat. Our virtual living room reaches between two continents so we can watch races together. During the Monaco Grand Prix, I pulled up Monument Valley to play during commercial breaks on my phone. Was I in one world or two or three?
Occasionally I’ll sort inventory or explore in SL at my desktop computer: one monitor full of SL and the other with whatever series I’m currently binge-watching on Netflix or Amazon. My husband sits at his computer a few feet away from me, also with one monitor in SL and another surfing the web. We’ll talk back and forth about things. One of us might pivot to watch an item shared on the other’s monitor. Sometimes we’ll pass links avatar-to-avatar. Our dog snores on the futon nearby.
These times when online/offline or physical/virtual isn’t so binary, and in fact can be quite muddy, are fascinating.