My efforts at the Online Therapy Institute extend to Second Life. Last fall we moved to a new location- from one island to another- we built a new office and virtual classroom complete with lovely landscaping.
We share an island with other people in the helping professions so we feel right at home. While I don’t conduct therapy in Second Life because of confidentiality concerns, I do teach and consult in Second Life so it becomes my virtual office at times.Shortly after we finished the move, I logged into Second Life and a note card awaited me. My new neighbor had sent us flowers to welcome us!
So, why am I blogging this? Because there exists an ongoing debate about the validity of online relationships. Are they real? Are friends I have met in Second Life really friends?
I was very touched by the flowers, and while I have never met my friend and colleague in first life, it felt as real as flowers I might receive at a New Open Office or House Warming party- a gift of hospitality!
I just logged in and walked into the lobby of our office and there they are! Sitting on the counter at our welcome station, just as fresh as the day they were sent! And I was reminded of friendship and collegiate relationships. Now THAT’s real!