Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Rheta and Apathy

Rheta Shan died in real life, and died in Second Life. There is at the time of this writing already a massive outpouring of grief and sadness. It seems that everyone feels the sting of this loss. Even for those skeptical of the real life explanation there is pain in knowing that the Second Life avatar they knew isn't coming back.

I should be upset. I should be sad. Shouldn't I? Yet, I can't bring myself to care.

Is it ignorance or apathy? Hey, I don't know and I don't care.

The problem lies in Rheta being a complete stranger. Who is Rheta? What did she do? I have no idea. We've never met in Second Life and I'm confident I never knew her in real life. She is a complete stranger (I'm probably worse off for it).

How can I care about someone I never knew? All I have is her blog, which from the sounds of the survivor, might be taken down someday. Her blog is voluminous, having been active since August 2007. I can't take the time to read all that! It'd take at least... two days. I can't even be bothered to read my own blog. She'll remain forever obscure in my heart.

Everyone talks about apathy, but no one does anything about it

Prokofy made some commotion concerning whether this is a real death or a faked one so as to enable the user to quit with a conscience. And of course you have people for or against the idea who are fervently posting their opinions and arguments (more of the former than the latter). I've been reading it and I've found... I don't care. I honestly don't care.

How can I possibly care whether I've been fooled or not when the jury is still out whether I should care in the first place? To get involved in that debate requires concern for the state of the first point and since I don't care about it in the first place, it's moot to me.

I feel like a cold hearted evil person because this person has died and my response is a mere twenty sentence discussing whether or not I should care or not. But I harbor no ill will. I don't wish she was dead. I just can't get excited one way or the other.

Maybe I need to get out more and meet more Second Life people so when they die or leave I can write more sadness.