The Real Body is the Real Body

While reading Stone's "Will the Real Body Please Stand Up?," I felt very confused as to why Stone attributed the virtual experiences on the internet a second reality that operates almost in parallel with the true reality. It is not so much I do not grasp or agree that one can have meaningful experiences on the internet but it is just that maybe I fear the intensity of experience. Stone describes that users often describe their virtual reality the same way that one would in real life, like that the meeting or encounters people have actually take place somewhere physically. Even beyond just putting one's body into virtual reality is placing just one's mind into virtual reality, but Stone counter's this at the end of the essay noting that "it is important to remember that virtual community originates in, and must return to, the physical" (196). Stone must believe that one's actions on the internet must have some reality to them, like that someone can unleash his or her adolescent boy to the virtual world, but there is a reason as to why in the real world this person would keep the boy bottled up. For me, interactions on the internet are transparent to the extent that if somebody is looking for it, they can find it. If for some reason I want to act like a woman when I am not, I do not think that on the internet is a safer place than reality to let that out because somebody could still trace that back to me. It just seems that Stone and most people think that on the internet they can reinvent themselves however they want. I do not see how being able to hid oneself behind another body is a good thing. I do empathize a little with people who do not feel comfortable in their own physical bodies, but even Stone has to agree with me that first of all, we actually live in the physical world and can not escape that. So, sure, it is interesting to note that people may create a "second self," but we should try and stay as far as possible from that and discourage those sort of actions in our virtual communities as we do in our physical communities.