I was curious about the resources the internet might provide for people who feared physical social interaction, so I went searching for sites for agoraphobic people and stumbled upon something really interesting. Through the good news network I found a CBS news video discussing a site called second life designed specifically for people who suffered from social anxiety disorders. Second life is essentially a virtual world in which users interact with others through their alter egos or avatars. Through this virtual interactions agoraphobes are able to disassociate human interaction from their negative or anxious feelings, eventually leading them to live more normal lives. They allegedly feel more comfortable because of the anonymity of the site and the fact that people cannot physically judge their actions. They can be anyone. This thought definitely reminded me of our conversations about myspace but in this situation I think there is a lot more value to a world in which people are represented by a some what altered ego.
the news video is available at www.goodnewsnetwork.org/health/general/second-life-for-agoraphobics.html
and the site is SecondLife.com