What Is SL Really About?

I have opened a Facebook account for my Avatar and since doing so I’ve made quite a few connections with other SL people.  So between it, Flickr and now Plurk I’m feeling pretty dialed into all things SL related that don’t involve 80’s clubs and hair bands, or maybe they do.  you never know.

Anyway, a question was posed by a Facebook friend the other day about SL and being frustrated by those people who want photos of the person in real life and for her to voice chat with them.  He whole reason for being on SL is to have a place where she can socialize and express her creativity via the photos she creates, so what difference does it make if she doesn’t want to give out those kinds of details or participate in  voice chat?  Does a person need to prove their sexuality to participate in SL as the avatar which is displayed for everyone to see?

Personally, I don’t care if a person voice chats or shows what they look like in real life.  I’m not treating SL as a meet and greet place to find true love.  Most of the people live hundreds, if not thousands of miles away from me (consequently, this person lives only miles away from me, which I find rather amusing but I digress).  Why would I pursue anything with them beyond SL?  Beyond the face value of their avatar.  Do I like talking to them?  Do I enjoy their company? If the answers to those two things are yes, then that’s 90% of the whole social side covered.

This brings to mind the question; what are people using SL for?  If there are here for a creative outlet, good for them! I’m always amazed by the creators and creativity that is on display in SL and a number of photographers show it off very well.  People like Nimoe Constantine, Pretty Parkin, Skip Stahelli, Skippy Beresford and Trinetty Skytower  all produce stunning visual showing off the various creations that other users create to be worn or used in Second life.

If however they are trying to use SL as some sort of dating service, they are really missing the reason for SL to be around.  If you’re looking for that special someone, wouldn’t Match.com be a better choice?  You could find people who are actually in your area!  I’m not saying that love doesn’t flourish on SL, or that there is no emotional connections made there, quite the contrary.  But I see that more as an outcome of interaction, rather than the whole reason for being there.

Anyway those are just my thoughts, my opinion on the matter.  I’m sure there are people who will agree, or disagree.  But that brings me full circle back to what brought this paragraph on in the first place.  For whatever reason you use SL, be it a creative outlet, a place to meet people from around the world, or even a place to find love, the bottom line is, respect someone’s wishes and don’t question why they do the things they do.  Just accept their decision and carry on with your SL, be it with them or without them.

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4 comments

  1. Your commentary is so thoughtful and wise, Ty. You’re right: people should be able to bring as much or as little of their RL selves into SL as they please, and not feel pressured about it either way. For some, the virtual world is an elaborate roleplay, and they will never augment their SL presence with RL details. For others, it’s just an extension of the person they are in their First Lives. There’s room of the spectrum for everyone, and it’s a shame that anyone is ever subjected to the pressure to share more about themselves than they wish to.

    1. But…. if they tell something from RL it should be the Truth.
      I understand ppl want to know to who they trust and care . And I had that fake Person shit and I am still sad about it and the loss about the person I did really like so much before! IT always has two sides 😊

      1. I don’t disagree with you at all, if someone does disclose something from their RL they should be truthful. My point is, a RL photo or voice chat shouldn’t be mandatory from anyone in SL nor should RL information be required or used as a way to manipulate someone or make them feel like they are less of a person, or that they do not matter.

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