Let’s Chat about Real Virtue

Monday, I introduced Katy Lee and her book Real Virtue. Today I’d like to talk about some questions the story raised.

This was a very thought-provoking book for me. The heroine has self-esteem issues, because of always being placed second to her schizophrenic mother’s welfare. However, she has become a successful business woman, thanks in large part, she believes, to the inspiration of a virtual reality game she plays in which she’s beautiful and people don’t snicker at her because she has a weird mother.

Many people live similar kinds of dual lives aside from virtual reality games. They are one person online, outgoing and friendly chatting on blogs or Facebook, but perhaps are shy and withdrawn or simply housebound in their immediate physical world. Sometimes they are more “connected” to their online “friends” than the people in their home or those sitting next to them in the lunch room.

That came home to me one day when my daughter learned my “writing news” from my Facebook page before I went downstairs to tell my family in person. Yes, I “told” my fans, before my family! Ack!

Moreover, the internet, like TV before it, has changed many people’s perception of reality. Online we can be the person we may not feel we can be in real life. There is positive value to this and dangers.

The hero in Real Virtue helps the heroine to see her true value and worth, as he has always seen her and as God sees her–not her skewed virtual reality version (in all its layers of meaning…from the virtual reality of living with a schizophrenic mother to her virtual gaming)

He shows her how to listen to her mother, to really listen to the truth mixed in with the schizophrenic babbling. The characterization is compelling. There are so many layers of meaning and depth to this book.

Your Turn: What are some of the benefits you’ve experienced in participating in online communities? What dangers concern you about the increasing popularity of cyber-living?

For those who missed Monday’s post, this week I’m giving away an Ecopy of Katy’s book to one lucky commenter. If you’re worried that this is a techno book that you wouldn’t relate to, it’s not. I was a bit concerned about that as I started the first chapter, but the heroine is soon drawn back to her small home town which is where the story takes place. And if you’re reading this blog, you’re online enough to totally relate to that aspect of the story.

11 Comments

  • LOL Sandra!!!! Too funny about the writing news.
    Dangers to cyber-stuff include fakeness and lying. You just never know. On the other hand, I’m definitely more expressive online than in person. I’m thankful for my cyber friends because in “real” life I just don’t have the opportunities to connect with people.

  • Sandra, you hit that nail right on the head. During my research, I read numerous accounts about agoraphobics who hadn’t stepped out of their home in years, but when they get online they feel like they are “living” again. That was the extreme side of the spectrum

    I didn’t want to go that far with Mel. First, agoraphobia is a serious illness and requires psychological help…not a handsome a hero, no matter how wonderful he is. 🙂 But second, I knew that more people could relate to how quickly a simple pastime, like gaming, (or facebooking) can become a habit, and then an addiction, and how it can skew our perception of who we are.

    Many people admit to being more outgoing in their online life. But I have to ask them why? What’s holding them back from being that way in their real life. The life that really matters.

    • That’s a good question. I think for me, online I’m connecting with people who share my passion for writing and reading so we have those things in common to chat about. I have no trouble being outgoing at a writer’s conference–can always ask: so what are you writing? But I’m pretty quiet at other social gatherings…at least until I warm up to a conversation. 🙂

  • I think there are many dangers out there in cyberspace. But the one that comes to me is that people find it so easy to be mean. Like driving a car and yelling at the guy who cuts you off, if he bumped into you at the bookstore would you yell like that. People must watch themselves so they don’t turn into rude, judgemental, jerks.

    • Interesting comparison. I’ve heard that part of the problem is that sometimes we misread what’s being said, because we don’t see the body language that or hear the intonation that goes along with it.

  • As a introvert, I like the chance to be more “outgoing” on online. 🙂 I think one of the dangers is that typically we don’t get the whole picture online of what someone is experiencing – which can be good and bad. A lot of people put up a front about how great things are, so we have to be careful not to compare our lives/talents/relationships with those we read about online.

  • “Cyber-living.” That’s such an appropriate phrase! I like to think I’m the same person online as offline, but the temptation is always there to slip into a facade-type-persona. In many ways, I feel like being involved in online communities has really strengthened some relationships – and I love that. But I have to be careful not to keep it there. Honestly, it’s easy for me to send someone an encouraging facebook message…but do I call friends I haven’t talked to in a long time? Do I go out of my way to be a blessing “physically,” not just “virtually?” Those are the areas where I need to challenge myself more.

    Great conversation!

Leave a Reply to Stacy Henrie Cancel reply