Virtual identity stress
How about these for interesting statistics – the percentages are research findings, the hard numbers are factored up to the working population as a whole:- 16 million (64%) of employees don’t believe in what their company stands for
– 15 million (58%) change something about themselves to adapt
– 5 million (20%) change their appearance significantly
– 3.5 million (14%) have modified their accent
– 1.5 million (6%) have concealed their religious identity
– 1 in 50 hide their true sexual orientation
It might not be a surprise, then, that the survey suggests almost one in three workers (30%) feel dissatisfied at work and almost 20 per cent are looking to move jobs.
The survey suggests that the ‘identity stressed’ take their troubles home with them. We are talking about things like low self esteem, poor sleep patterns, poor social life and generally low confidence levels.
Maybe, and this is my pop psychology effort, so forgive me if you disagree, but maybe this is all part of the reason for our increasing interest in online communities.
…Maybe Second Life doesn’t use the phrase ‘Escape your identity stress’, but the inference is certainly there.
Virtual identity stress. I don’t want any of that. I have enough in my offline life to bring more upon me in online space.
But I expect that Mynci Gorky, my virtual persona, demonstrates at least a few of my stress-related offline tics. I don’t see SL as a separate life, regardless of the name of it. It is an extension of my offline self. I’m not alone. Rutter and Smith (1999) argue (via Postmes and Baym, 2005) that people use the internet to “extend and enrich” their lives.