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AnnaIvanovna

Second Life addiction is a very real problem. This is my story.

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SL has a huge potential for addiction.  I found that  many of us have deep seated issues with various things and it's so easy to avoid them and be someone else in the virtual world.  Many people say they are not addicted,  but when I see the amount of time and money they spend on their second lives, I wonder how honest they are with themselves.. and I wont go into the sexual side of SL except to say  it really feeds the hedonism and immorality that is so carelessly available in a virtual Life. "But I'm not really doing those things! It's just make believe, right?"

I got sucked into the role play world which was wonderful for awhile, but one day I saw someone  who had utterly lost the capacity to see the line between SL and RL. I became the focus of their hatred and was subsequently and anonymously sabotaged.  It was a sad situation and really woke me up to the negative psychological impact of cyber space and the fact that people felt protected in their bad behaviour by anonymity.

SL can be very creative and imaginative too. It has the potential to be educational as well as an art platform. But in my own experience if I can't take the art and imagination out of the virtual world I find it a bit meaningless.  

I come into SL like a tourist from time to time to enjoy the arts SL has to offer but I am not looking to buy a house or parcel or commit to anything that will be time consuming. Been there done that!! :)

 

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Hana Hoobinoo wrote:

Many people say they are not addicted,  but when I see the amount of time and money they spend on their second lives, I wonder how honest they are with themselves. 

You are confusing addiction with something else. People get immersed in things, spending time and money on them, without being addicted to them.

Of all the people I know and have known in SL, I've never known of anyone who is/was addicted to it, and I have known people who put significant amounts of money into it each month. It's just time and money spent on a very pleasurable passtime/hobby. That's all.

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oh I'm sure for many people it is pleasurable  and I know not everyone is addicted as you say but I can honestly say also then that I did find it disturbing how many indulged themselves in SL in things they probably wouldn't do in their first lives. It may not be SL that is addicting but some of the behaviours certainly could be.  It's too easy in SL and that's not realistic.  I'm sympathetic with those who feel they have hit a wall.

Plus I can't justify money spent on mainly vanity.   I spent my share too. If  vanity is a hobby then SL is full of that!!  :) - Nor time wasted just indulging myself in virtual fun!!  I think I just outgrew my time there though I still pop in ocassionally. I love the art of some of the builds but I hate getting stuck in the same old, same old- and SL can get a bit like that too after a while Time for growth and change for some of us. I moved in other directions equally imaginative I hope. - and I don't need boundless freedom - just enough to fill me with awe  and some gratitude- like real travel and nature etc. 

Everyone finds their own niche.

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I think we all have stories that are about addiction to SL or another game, which is why we are on this post.  I am a current Sl gamer who was never much of an addict (maybe spent 30 minutes a night before going to bed wandering around with my avatar) until I met a man in Sl who stole my heart..  He was somewhat of an addict - spending his nights going back and forth between being on SL and spending time with his wife in the living room so she would not suspect what he was doing in his office (he kept SL a secret from her).  Not only did this man who was married, as was I, steal my heart, but together we spent hours on SL each week. A couple hours at night and then probably 4 hours or more together on the weekends. Eventually we met in real life and became lovers and stopped going on SL altogther. Long story short, we decided not to cheat physically after a while and we became phone friends. Shortly after that he started going back onto SL but did not want to spend anymore time with me there because now i was too "real."  Not only did he go back to being on SL and not wanting to spend time with me there, he was having sex on there, while calling me his girlfriend in RL, and while being married. THen he met another lady there and started falling for her, and told me about in RL as if it had no impact to my feelings...I guess he saw it as seperate somehow.  I saw things for what they were - this man had a pattern of addiction. He would rather spend time in SL for hours with online strangers than live his RL. It was probably due to alot of frusturation and boredom, but still.  I finally told him I could not talk to him anymore. It was just too hard to hear about his SL love life and be as in love with him as I was in the RL.  I told him if he wanted to spend time wtih ME on SL to give me a call, or if he chose to give up SL to give me a call. He did not argue with me. Just told me he understood fully how I felt. And now he is still on SL doing what he did when I met him - picking up ladies for sex and as far as I know, he is probably getting closer and closer to that one lady he told me about...soon he will be phone friends with HER.  

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One can be "addicted" to various things, but the test of whether it is healthy or pathological is how it affects you and your relationships and other activities that make you happy. Obviously if you are spending too much time doing anything and it is interfering with your enjoyment of other things, it is pathological and you must rebalance your priorities in order to ensure you are not harming yourself and others.

 

For example, you could have an "addiction" to gardening, which at first sounds hilarious as it seems to be quite benign. However if you are doing this to the detriment of other responsibilities and obligations, denying time to family and friends, and not taking g care of your health, not paying attention in school so your marks drop, performing poorly on the job, etc... it is a problem.

 

SL is another example of an activity which can be abused. It has that more realistic interactive component which does make it more absorbing than other games. There is no denying that.

 

I found myself also absorbed in SL quite a bit several years ago. I finally decided to pull the plug and was in and out for a few months until finally I completely uninstalled it and took a hiatus for several years. I even asked to cancel my account.

 

Recently I purchased a new "older" laptop and wanted to try out some 3D games to test the performance and so decided to get SL again. I reinstated my account and was glad to find out that my laptop actually sucked at rendering and my experience playing the game is not anywhere close to what I remember it being a few years ago. So I lost interest in it on my own and will likely rarely if ever log in again.

 

I agree however that "addictive" behaviours are inherent in your psychological makeup but most people will not act out necessarily more dangerous addictions, while much more easily get involved in SL which is much safer. The same reason why many men (and women) who may constantly watch online porn in the privacy of their own homes will otherwise never have visited an adult video store or been to a strip club. Yet the results can be the same, if it causes your behaviour to change and you alienate those around you or it replaces real life behaviors that would reinforce relationships that are critical to a healthy mental state. As much as SL can be a release for you, it can also work the other way... it may not release you once you get in too deep. If you need to constantly log in, check your messages, can't unplug and become dependent on the net (like many other social apps) and fill your life with anonymous long-distance virtual relationships instead of real ones, you are escaping at that point.

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Blanche Sapphire wrote:

Second life destroys real life, ruins relationships and puts children in danger.

There *may* be people who can enjoy SL as an occasional harmless pastime, but there are a lot of others in deep denial about the extent to which it is destroying their real lives and the people who care about them. For those who have dissociative disorders, like my husband, it can trigger other parts of a fragmented personality and give them an outlet to wreak havoc. Almost two years after he left the 25-year-old Australian who tried to break up our marriage, quit SL cold turkey and went into intensive therapy, we are still dealing with the fallout. The only good thing I can say about SL is that it helped him hit rock bottom and it exposed the dissociative identity disorder that had managed to run in stealth-mode for 50 years.

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EmilyWaugh wrote:


Blanche Sapphire wrote:

Second life destroys real life, ruins relationships and puts children in danger.

There *may* be people who can enjoy SL as an occasional harmless pastime, but there are a lot of others in deep denial about the extent to which it is destroying their real lives and the people who care about them. For those who have dissociative disorders, like my husband, it can trigger other parts of a fragmented personality and give them an outlet to wreak havoc. Almost two years after he left the 25-year-old Australian who tried to break up our marriage, quit SL cold turkey and went into intensive therapy, we are still dealing with the fallout. The only good thing I can say about SL is that it helped him hit rock bottom and it exposed the dissociative identity disorder that had managed to run in stealth-mode for 50 years.

Wow. Really? DID? Stealth mode? For 50 years?

And you bought that? What charlatan made that diagnosis?

He must be quite convincing. Unless you are dealing with the chronically naive. 

I guess some people just refuse to believe the facts, especially if they are mundane.

I would be willing to bet the 25 year old Australian woman was in actuality a 57 year old Welshman.

If you hear hoofbeats then it is most likely horses, not zebras.

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If this post is ernest I am sorry to hear that your husband was cheating on you. Once trust is lost love is sure to follow. Time and time agian I see married people come on to SL just to cheat on their spouses and I pretty sure not a single one does suffer from any tipe of dissociative disorders. Multiple personality disorder is widley understood as hoax by the scientifc community. Only a handfull of people in history have been actually diagnosed with and that is still contested. 

One thing that really bothers me about this post is that you blame a 25 year old Aussie for trying to break up your marriage. She did not promisse you to be loyal till death. It was your husband the one that made this promisse, he is also the one to endanger your marriage. It is likely that just like you, she is a victim. To the Cesar what belongs to the Cesar. 

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I keep hearing these stories of people pointing fingers and talking about addicts, addiction and so on with Second Life. The first problem is that you blamers try to wrap everyone up in a neat scenario where they should all be happy and active in the RL. Not everyone is the same. Maybe they don't really like the RL or the people they are around in it. Frankly what business is it of yours period... For those who try to bring the SL into RL that's your failure. It is virtual for a reason. Leave it that way. I mean really blaming others for not wanting to come out of SL when you want them to? Why should they? Especially when many of you met someone in SL then met up in RL and it didn't go as you planned. Ask yourself this... why are you so threatened with SL and wanted to stop once you met someone. Sounds like more that you have a problem you will not confront than the other way around.

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, Arin6969 said:

It's Magic

You mean Necromancy?

:D

[ETA]
I'm just teasing, Arin.  Welcome to the forums!

 

Edited by Rhonda Huntress
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Rhonda Huntress said:
2 hours ago, Arin6969 said:

I think I'm addicted too. It's Magic makes us stay here.

You mean Necromancy?

:D

[ETA]
I'm just teasing, Arin.  Welcome to the forums!

I don't believe in Magic.

I think it's people like Rhonda.

ETA: Oh yeah, welcome to the forums, Arin!

Edited by Madelaine McMasters
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I am surprised that anyone who is or has ever been immersed enough in SL to have this kind of conversation would have ever not met people who were addicted, over-invested or whatever you wish to call it. If we on the forum haven't experienced it ourselves, I expect we have all at least skirted it or recognised how it happens. 

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4 hours ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

I don't believe in Magic.

What if Magic believes in you?

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People who don't believe in magic could very well be addicted to their rational mind.

But we'd need to clearly define just what 'magic' means to determine this.

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6 hours ago, Arin6969 said:

I think I'm addicted too. It's Magic makes us stay here.

So you are saying that if SL didn't feel magical you would leave?

That's true for me. It seems with just about anything if I think I understand it all with my rational mind then I'm bored and want to leave.

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   I believe in magic.

   It's always the people who keep me here. It's many of you who keep me here. And it's not like, Ruthless People keep me here. It's like when I have waffles for dinner, or have coffee Friday evenings because I don't have to get up the next day in the pre-crepuscular gloom to get ready for work. It's like calling in sick at work when I'm not really sick.

   I want you to keep me here. Thanks.

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5 hours ago, Luna Bliss said:

People who don't believe in magic could very well be addicted to their rational mind.

What on Earth does that mean? If you are suggesting that rationality can be harmful, I'll argue that it's running a very distant second to irrationality.

5 hours ago, Luna Bliss said:

But we'd need to clearly define just what 'magic' means to determine this.

Webster says this... https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/magic

They weasel by using "believed", "seemingly", and "feeling", all of which suggest that the supernatural power is imagined, which it very likely is. If you define "magic" as people feeling like something supernatural has happened when it actually hasn't, I'll go along. I have those feelings all the time and I generally enjoy them. But if you define magic as something actually happening by supernatural means, I don't believe in it. My own feelings have been wrong far more often than right and are untrustworthy.

It's far more likely that we imagine a supernatural explanation because we haven't got the knowledge to understand what's actually happening. The mind is lazy and will happily jump to nonsense conclusions. Acquiring the knowledge of what's actually happening is my favorite pastime and one of the best things humans do.

Back to the definition of magic for a moment, Google's is amusing...

noun
  1. 1. 
    the power of apparently influencing the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural forces.
    "suddenly, as if by magic, the doors start to open"

The use of "apparently" suggests that the influence is not actually supernatural, but only seems that way. The use of "as if" in the example suggests that the doors didn't open by magic, but only seemed to. So, the doors suddenly start to open by some unknown means that is a misunderstood misunderstanding.

At the risk of sounding arrogant, I think this means that I opened the doors.

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2 hours ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

Right, I have only two arms.

Good thing we don't have two of everything. Then we'd be Klingons! Or Time Lords. Not sure which.

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If there is an itch that SL scratches, then simply walking away from SL will do nothing without taking time to identify and address the itch.

For me SL is a social, creative and entertainment outlet, prior to SL I was heavily invested in a couple of 3D rendering related Usenet groups. As I choose to spend most of my time with a computer (or three) in arms reach, SL is an ideal compliment and less demanding of dedicated, almost anxious, attention that Usenet or IRC ever were.

I can't say that it has always been a positive experience, but it is a major part of my life that's ended up broadening my horizons RL. Been instrumental in making me the person I am today, and I have met more people, put a significant number of real life miles on the clock, traveled well out of my comfort zone , and have a better in person social network than I would ever have accomplished without it.

Am I hooked? Oh hell yes, and that aspect hasn't always sat comfortably. But the needs this place fulfills don't cease when I log off, and I just end up replacing SL with something else that has neither the scope or depth and end up right back here.

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7 hours ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

What on Earth does that mean? If you are suggesting that rationality can be harmful, I'll argue that it's running a very distant second to irrationality.

Webster says this... https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/magic

They weasel by using "believed", "seemingly", and "feeling", all of which suggest that the supernatural power is imagined, which it very likely is. If you define "magic" as people feeling like something supernatural has happened when it actually hasn't, I'll go along. I have those feelings all the time and I generally enjoy them. But if you define magic as something actually happening by supernatural means, I don't believe in it. My own feelings have been wrong far more often than right and are untrustworthy.

It's far more likely that we imagine a supernatural explanation because we haven't got the knowledge to understand what's actually happening. The mind is lazy and will happily jump to nonsense conclusions. Acquiring the knowledge of what's actually happening is my favorite pastime and one of the best things humans do.

Back to the definition of magic for a moment, Google's is amusing...

noun
  1. 1. 
    the power of apparently influencing the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural forces.
    "suddenly, as if by magic, the doors start to open"

The use of "apparently" suggests that the influence is not actually supernatural, but only seems that way. The use of "as if" in the example suggests that the doors didn't open by magic, but only seemed to. So, the doors suddenly start to open by some unknown means that is a misunderstood misunderstanding.

At the risk of sounding arrogant, I think this means that I opened the doors.

1*dtMYXsEYCKWbUZ1Fg7jGtA.jpeg&sp=fee91e0

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