Pinch Me Howard Rheingold

Do you recall the expression, "Somebody pinch me please?" when referring to the inability to determine reality? After reading Howard Rheingold's piece "A Slice of Life in my Virtual Community" and listening to a part of his vlog, the question of reality arose. In these venues he talks about his virtual community and his online identity. Not only has he been able to design his virtual office, but he has also created a virtual him - a picture of someone who has similar features but whose physical appearance differs in what I will refer to as "real life." He also refers to his virtual community as an on-going soap-opera, an addicting drama where one feels the need to tune in (or maybe in this case it should be log in) to each day, but if one misses a day, the sagas are so cyclical that one can easily catch up on the storyline. I wonder as people get more involved in virtual communities and an online life essentially, what happens to the line of reality? Does it get blurred? Are there two distinct sides - reality and virtual surreality/fantasy? Will what today is deemed as virtual surreality become reality someday? What implications will these actions have on what we currently see as "reality?"