Escaping the Real World

My first question is: What is the real world?
Second question: Why do people head to the country on the weekend or move to the suburbs or spend a week alone in the middle of the wilderness – all to “escape the real word”?

Personally, I think that computer technology plays a major role in constructing our idea of the “real world”. When people escape the real world they are, in many instances, going somewhere where they can communicate directly with other people – not through computers, be in an environment that is much more healthy and stimulating than staring at a computer for the majority of the day and somewhere with a much slower pace of life. When it comes to determing a pace of life – think about how much time it takes for an email response to come back as opposed to lettermail response! I would be interested to know if people “escaped” as often in the times before the computer boom!?

I did a quick google of “escaping the real world” and what I found was that not everyone “escapes” by going into nature; some people indulge in an extra piece of cake, or disappear into piece of music or spend time with family, but NO ONE (at least in the top google responses, lol) goes to their computer to escape the real world.

Although, I was just thinking: what about computer games, are they an “escape”? Liam, was it you that plays computer games? Do you have any insight on this?

4 Responses to “Escaping the Real World”

  1. sieber says:

    I notice that many of my fellow campers still bring their cell phones so they can text message. I am never without my laptop on my vacations, even though I never end up using it. Computing and telecommunications has so seeped into our lives, I wonder whether we can separate ourselves from and really get away from the ‘real world’.

  2. Jean-Sebastien says:

    I don’t play computer games, but I spend a lot of time programming… and I definitevely have the impression to escape from the ‘real-world’ when I program many hours straigh… don’t need to eat or go to the toilet anymore… don’t see the time going on anymore. On the other hand if I go in the nature… I have much more the impression to go back to the real-world, near the elements. But what’s the real-world anyway :o)?

  3. Liam says:

    I certainly can empathize with the feeling of wanting to get away. However typically when I get away, I get away from not only technology, but also other people, I guess I’m an introvert at heart. I’ve always lived in an urban environment, however there are always outlets where I can retreat, in Calgary the mountains provided that for me, and here I find that in about 20 minutes I can be alone in Mt. Royal. I usually don’t even bring my watch.

    In that sense computer games have never really been an escape, they tend to be another way to connect for me, when playing video games physically with other people (on Nintendo for example) it tends to be the people I play other games (like soccer or football) with as well, it seems to be just another outlet for playful competition.

    The online game I play has a smallish community (quite dysfunctional mind you) of about 2000-3000 players. It’s certainly something I enjoy, but it’s still something I retreat from.

  4. Ira says:

    I think that increasingly we do not live in a very ‘real’ world and when people ‘escape’ to the country they are actually trying to find something more real than their everyday existence. What I mean by the world not being very real is that people seem to be very out of touch with some of the most important things in life: peace, happiness, justice, compassion – these are all things that are important to me but if we look around at the values being promoted by the media, they are not there.