I've heard many times that in this day and age, too many people lived their lives drowning out reality in front of their tvs, computers, or various other electronic boxes. This kind of statement is generally followed up with some sort of comment that people don't seem to connect with others as much, and that they don't enjoy enough of the real world; that we should put down our remotes, have conversations that don't involve a single text, and maybe go for a jog around the neighborhood.
I've given some thought to this recently, partially due to the fact that I spend a fair amount of my own time "plugged in". I was always curious as to what people considered the "real world". Don't get me wrong, I'm not the kind of guy to say that this world is nothing more than some sort of fictional dream state, or mass collective unconscious, or something like that. I understand that we are currently inhabiting a very real rock in a very real universe. But there are plenty of people who would consider the man who bikes around the harbor every day living more in the "real world" than I, even if we both see the same areas. So what is living in a real world anyway? What makes his world any more potent than mine? My very basic knowledge of history would tell me that any world is composed of what people know; the Greeks lived in a world that was entirely theirs, and the Chinese world for the nation of China literally means "center country", because they knew that they were in the center of their own world. Anyone's world is simply what they submerge themselves in, and it's boarders are where they grow content.
In this sense, I believe that the people that kayak and the people who read and the people that play WoW are all in different worlds, but these worlds are all similar in origin. Those that lived plugged in to their worlds are simply more immersed on theirs. If everyone's world truly is what we make of it, than the people who are plugged in are simply much better at crafting their worlds. Someone at a computer can easily decide the fate of his audio, visual, and emotional inputs completely at his whim; a blackbelt can only choose some of these factors, and to lesser degrees. I wouldn't go so far as to say that whenever someone logs on, they become gods of their new world; they simply take any number of already created tools, and construct their own personal world from there. If one wanted to become a god of his music, he would have to create it on his own, which is always an option. But regardless, those who are plugged in are architects of their reality, while others are more or less simply observers.
A little side note that I came across while I was musing; people should be grateful and nice to their friends. In this age of complete control over what gets to be "inputted" into our lives, it is a great privilege and complement to know that someone thinks highly enough of you to use you as one of the building blocks of their life.