Cultural Differences

Following the American Dream and heading west? Manifest Destiny? Getting away from society?
Never heard of it.

I find it odd that one would want to escape reality. At least, I found it odd until I came to America to study. Currently, I frequently find myself caught up in the mundane routine of completing assignment after assignment, attending class after class. And I slowly begin to understand why some people would want to venture Into the Wild.

Growing up in a society where a nice balance was achieved between work and leisure, I never had any clashes between the things I had to do and the things I wanted to do. I lived in a small town, Dielheim. It was good for the quiet time I needed for myself, as well as a place for me to play my sports or spend time with the family. When I needed to go out, I went out into the city. Wir gehen mal in die Stadt, a concept I miss since one does not "Go into the city" to walk along the Hauptstrasse (main street) to go shopping or meet with friends. And what better place to do that than in the city of Heidelberg?

Coming to America, I realized at once that things would be different, and that an escape from reality would be necessary for sanity's sake. Whether because of the intricate college life, or merely because of the structure of American life in general, breaks cutting the "routine" of college life became frequent and necessary. "Getting away from life" is what my friend calls it, even though I don't agree that you should need to get away from life. With tedious college life, however, excursions into the unknown were undertaken. Activities that went against the act of reading for the next class were explored, structured, and scheduled, and the time between those activities was counted feverously.

The point behind all this rhetoric is this: Cultural differences exist between the culture I was raised in and the culture I live in now. In one, I had no desire to escape reality. In the other, I struggle with the balance between what I want to do and what I have to do. Society's fault? Quite possible - this wiki seeks to answer that question and many others. What is clear is the need for individuals to seek their own reality, independent from the one they are forced to live in.

But how much do I know? Individuals in my culture certainly seek to create their own reality, through everyday means and not so everyday means:

P1010800.JPG <-----Here I was stopped and asked if I wanted a free stress test in my country's Hauptstadt. "Sure, why not" I thought. Couldn't hurt. Little did I know that the test was complete BS and the lady just wanted me to buy some book. But by her explanation of the book, I could tell that she truly believed in some crap about alleviating stress. That was her reality. She believed in what she was telling me. I was in my reality. I thought she was full of it. Who's right?


My culture advocates this type of "escape", as some may call it. Does that make it right? Does that make it an escape at all? ----->

What I say on this Wikispace is my reality. What you see is what I want you to see.
In the "real world", what you see is a mixture of what I want you to see and what I cannot hide. Physical things: clothes, language, an accent? No?
In "virtual worlds", what you see is controlled by me, or by the person in control. It allows for people to create their own realities and live how they would want to live. A phenomenon appearing not just in America but in countries all over the world has people creating their own realities in virtual worlds, and I will use that phenomenon and the virtual world Second Life (SL) to explore some basic realities and some virtual ones.

I hope to look at some cultural differences that influence just how much individuals in society want to escape their forced reality and how much they want to create their own reality, due to the societal influences and pressures upon those individuals.

Cultural Differences: The Into
Creating Cultures: A Culture in SL
Photo Essay
World War Z
International SL
A Short Story

Main Invented Worlds Page