Real world and virtual world: exploring the subtle boundary in-between

Journal title GRUPPI
Author/s Marco Longo, Alessandra Furin
Publishing Year 2019 Issue 2019/1
Language Italian Pages 13 P. 17-29 File size 194 KB
DOI 10.3280/GRU2019-001003
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In this essay, the author explains how the internet works, underlining the con-nections and juxtapositions between real world and virtual world, that is, focusing on an invisible world activating fantasies and personal representations. True virtu-ality seems to reside in our minds, in the virtual representation of reality that de-velops in our psyche, where inner world and outer world meet and clash. Comput-ers and the internet are used in a very ambivalent way: if, on the one hand, they promote knowledge and create culture worldwide, on the other they favour a soli-tary and narcissistic use of digital devices, which can easily turn into abuse or ad-diction. The author then explains why the virtual world reverberates in and con-nects with our inner world, both in a creative and innovative, as well as in a regres-sive and pathological way. In cyberspace, each user is virtually in touch synchron-ically, in a one-to-one relationship, with all other "knot points of the web", within a "shared, invisible space", a multiform and multidimensional "topological space" where distance and closeness, emptiness rarefaction and total fullness, impotence and omnipotence, reality and fantasy are all present simultaneously. There follows a description of social networking and virtual worlds: their success, their limits and, specifically, their abuse can only be analyzed - from a psychological and psycho-analytic point of view - by means of group and psychosocial models. Cyberbully-ing, a widespread pathology among adolescents nowadays, and the everincreasing threat of pedopornography are also discussed.

Keywords: Internet, Virtual world, Dissociative disorder and digital media abuse, Cyberbullying, Pedopornography.

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Marco Longo, Alessandra Furin, Esplorando il sottile confine tra reale e virtuale in "GRUPPI" 1/2019, pp 17-29, DOI: 10.3280/GRU2019-001003