Close Your Eyes: Disconnecting From All Realities

For the special topics seminar with Derek, I have been reading Jeremy Bailenson’s book Experience on Demand, in which he gives a general overview of VR and its implications. When talking about the overwhelming and sometimes scary presence that VR can have, Bailenson gives people his insider trick: all you have to do is close your eyes and it disappears. This makes sense in the context of VR, but this morning my yoga instructor had us go into the classic tree pose and she said that if we wanted to make it more challenging we could close our eyes. In the context of Bailenson’s suggestion that made me wonder if cutting off our senses in VR is really any different from cutting them off in the physical world. If our experience in either one can be altered by our sensory input, then who is to say that our selves truly exist in either? I guess that depends on how you define the self, but I can’t help but think that our internal reality or self is probably the one that’s most real. Or maybe that’s just the yoga talking.