With the crunch of space on earth, I think we have only our mind to expand. With Internet and the world becoming one global village , with culture, custom and cuisines getting intermingled between different parts of the world, this seems to be only true. So, the reality is we are virtual - we feel virtual, we seek virtual, we live virtual.
The Chinese real estate magnate, Anshe Chung made a million by selling house virtually http://secondlife.com/ . Initially, I found the idea to be weird. I thought we are happy in our home because we live in it. We enjoy because we can feel it, as in, walk on the floor or carpet, sit on the sofa. But by the amount of money Anshe made, I am obviously wrong. The concept is same as buying a house in real life. Choose a good neighbourhood, create the design, get the finest furniture and home decor and feel happy seeing it.
Then, came the concept of owning/adopting and pampering virtual pets http://www.virtualpet.com/vp/links/links.htm . I am not a animal lover. I have nothing against them but I cannot take care of them. The only pet I believe I would be able to have is a fish. I have friends who have pets. From what I understood, they own pets because they love animals, want a companion, feel good (cuddling, playing and pampering them) and be responsible. I am not very clear how you can feel all these virtually.
Well things don't end here. There are online sites, where all one needs to do is get registered online to get engaged or get married virtually. And there are the concepts of soul mate, soul friend, work spouse. All these clearly emphasis that happiness is just a state of mind.
I think we have already started living a second life - one is real , what we see in the mirror, the other is virtual, what we see through our mind's eye.