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CeLlne

Teens aren't welcome almost anywhere in SL

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Being a teen myself (16), and being an honest teen for registering with my real birthdate, I'm not allowed to any sims that aren't General. That's good, I understand the reasons behind it and I'm willing to wait until I'm at the right age to access Moderate and Adult contents, but sometimes when I go shopping for clothes on marketplace and parts of the description says "DEMO availabe in-world", I start aching inside. Most of the stores and shops are in Moderate sims, and I'm just talking about general-rated shops like /Wasabi Pills/, *Butterfly Effect Designs*, Lelutka, etc. 

That's one thing that I suffer from, but that's not even that much suffering compared to the injustice and pre-judgements I receive from a lot of adults in sims I can go to. Most of the time, I hang out in Welcome and Help areas (aren't really a lot of places I can go with people to talk to, unfortunately), and assuming that I totally do not notice the amount of vulgarity, griefing, trolling and lewd in most welcome areas, everyone treats me like I'm a danger to them.

Need I not say, I have been accused of child-play like a gazillion times, despite the clarification in my in-world profile that I really am 16, in SL and RL, and that I don't do adult stuffs in Second Life (simply because I can't access any of them). When I defend myself and justify that I don't do those stuffs, people will start calling me a troll and that I'm fake. :matte-motes-confused: Of course,there are other cases where people don't actually believe that I'm 16, and perceive me as an adult pretending (really hard) to be a teen. That's okay, I don't really prioritize proving my identity to people over the Internet that much, but what isn't okay is the amount of hate I receive...just for being 16.

People block and mute me right after they know I'm 16, a lot don't even make an effort to talk and get to know me more than just my age. I guess parts of me can deal with that, despite me being a very sociable person always wanting to start conversations. On the rare occassions that I do make friends, my friends then become the victim.

My friends are victims, people accussed of pedophilia, just by being my friend. Whenever I get into a discussion (defending myself from false accusations) and someone goes on my side, that person is then called a pedophile. I can't be friends with anyone without endangering them. I can't have a pleasant conversation with anyone. It sucks, it makes me want to be savage like the stereotypical teens I'm sure most of you think of everytime you come across one. 

I understand that there might be people that won't like me for my personality or whatever, and they can mute and block me as they wish, but disliking me based on two factors of "she's 16" and "16, she is"...well...I don't even know.

What I come across most is "if you are really 16, you shouldn't be here". That's funny because the only sims I can go to are PG sims, and the people that tell me these are people hanging out in PG sims at that time. If Second Life wasn't meant for teenagers like me, then I wouldn't have been able to register with my real birthdate. Yes, I heard there used to be a teen grid, but yeah, I said it, "used to be".

When adults curse and talk about adult stuffs in PG areas (mostly talking about welcome areas), in chat and on voice, despite knowing there's a 16 year old right in front of them (I always make myself clear) yeah it's okay because they're adults. When I get angry, when I lose all patience from defending myself and slip out a bad word, imagine the hell I receive. 

Most of the nice people I meet tell me to report people that mistreat me, and I'll tell you what I've acknowledged in the 4 months I've been on SL: reporting someone is like pressing "control" in an empty word document. Try and and you'll see what happens. nothing

I joined SL hoping to meet casual, nice people of all age, race, religion and nationality around the world. I like making friends, having decent civilized conversations and engage in minimum competition (funny because I tend to engage in minimum decent civilized conversation and make loads of haters from competition). SL is a virtual world, it's not a game, I'm done with gaming. I never knew that I have to be at least 18 to be welcomed in a second world. 

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at this amount of time between now and the merge i would hope for teens to have places they can go to without this feels. 

You're not the first teen i know who fall victim to this things, you will find a lot of people thinking "the internet world" or very much the SL world belong to us adults. 

As far as i remember going back a long time to being online on many games, people felt "uncomfortable" for an unexcused reason just because you are not over 18 and they are so. 

Thats what rated places are for really. 

What id suggest is trying to either along with friends make places that would feel more secure from those kind of things, the funding might be hard to get but prolly an all time solution. 

i dont trust the SL team would find themselfs giving a hand.

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Man, yeah... I can see it being hard for you. The treatment you faced sucks so much. People are really ignorant. Just brush the dirt off your shoulders. ♡

I dunno if it exists but it seems like it would - a 'G' rated place/hangout just for real life teens.

Maybe you've already looked into it but it could be a place to start with finding accepting people?

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Sorry to say but the two first responses above are both typical and unavoidable. Not surprised you've heard worse, either.

It's real difficult to build a virtual world for 18+, and then open it to 16+ after-the-fact. Worse that almost no development was done to make this easier - teens were quite intentionally thrown to lions (kinda literally, considering how riled a large percentage of the adult userbase got prior to teens 'arriving' from TG). Pretty much 90-95% of the old teen userbase disappeared overnight. Would expect teen participation is non-existant from a statistical POV, nowadays.

There's no-one vetting content here, much of the stuff that is General is only General by approximation and good luck, the maturity ratings are a joke - always have been imaginary, except now they're supposed to mean something. Creates more annoyance because the definitions are old school puritanism, which suits no-one except the suits. Difficult to even talk about the culture, but yeah - you've seen it.

Most of the discomfort and ire projected at young people in SL is deflection, older peeps are angry 'cause they were powerless to stop it, and LL didn't want to listen. The wheel's been spinning too long, and the large majority are set in their ways of perpetual and engrained annoyance. It ain't your fault but it's still gonna happen, can't turn a penny farthing into a mountain bike a decade after it's left the factory.

No solutions. :)

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Freya Mokusei wrote:

Sorry to say but the two first responses above are both typical and unavoidable. Not surprised you've heard worse, either.

 

Say what?  If someone posted that people were mean to him because he was 75 I would say the same thing. 

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hi there :)

Well, I for one can feel with you. For starters Pedo's are the exception and not the rule, though, fear has become the rule of late...

Sticking to a PG rated sim and its rules should help. Being mature as well. After all, it's sometimes the ones that frequent the "Mature" sims that act...pretty IMmature at times... :)

Perhaps a call for Maturity? If you (the matures) get a friendship request from a teen, be 1) thankfull for the honesty and 2) behave accordingly. Meet in PG sims, do PG stuff and (for the love of peanuts) behave and dress PG rated...

Tip to the Sim hoppers amongst us: check the rating, dress accordingly and HOP... :) believe me, it'll rule out the nasty surprises...

Celine, you are absolutely right...fear seems to take the upper hand...though...being a teen should be the coolest time of your life...indulge, because, it does not last :) take it from an old girl like me :)

Kisses

Mell

xxx

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It's quite interesting how, as a sixteen year old who's only been here for four months, you've gotten into the habit of using a maturity description that hasn't been officially used in years ("PG"), hang out in welcome areas and help areas that haven't been used as default landing areas for new avatars for well over a year and are realistically only now used as grieftroll nursing homes, and discuss people reading your profile which you've blocked from display unless you're using "legacy profiles." My, you're just old before your time, aren't you?

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Pamela Galli wrote:

Say what?  If someone posted that people were mean to him because he was 75 I would say the same thing. 


Say what-what? It'd still be a 'typical' non-comment. Not hard to determine age through typing, easier still through voice.

But yeah just pointing at examples - demonstrating erasure (there are now other examples). Thanks.

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The reason I display my age, being a minor, is to prevent people from sending me adult messages or attempting to hit on me. It's what the people in the help area suggested when I first joined. Also, when I get on voice, people can pretty much determine how old I am. 

I try to keep it civil, I try be nice and make friends even when people are mean. If someone gets on my nerves on the extreme level, I just mute them. Honestly, it's really difficult finding a PG sim that a lot of people hang out at. Most of the pretty places I can go to are very very deserted. That's why I have to resort to welcome and help areas. 

Help areas are a lot better than welcome areas, people are nicer and there are mods keeping the place clean and safe. That's also how I managed to catch on with a lot of stuffs even though I'm only here for four months. Welcome areas are less plain because they have no mods, I do admit I like to engage in a little of back and forth because I'm very opinionated, but the problem, like I said, is that I never get to experience such conversations because people are condescending and mute me as soon as they know how old I am. 

I'd also appreciate if anyone can help find PG landmarks with lots of people there. 

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I don't get it... why on earth are you telling anyone how old you are?  Just stop.  Stop and you'll stop being treated like a pariah and accused of ridiculous nonsense.  Not only that, but keeping that sort of information to yourself would actually protect you from nefarious individuals who might seek to take advantage of someone they perceive as being young and naive.

There's a reason why the purveyors of Second Life chose not to publicly disclose the accounts which belong to those users who are under eighteen.  I suggest you take a cue from them and stop self-disclosing that very fact.

...Dres

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Based on personal experience, after having my age up in my profile, less people message me for adult stuff. People don't flirt with me when they talk to me. Of course that comes with a drawback of being treated condescendingly. It's easier to know who to report if I have my age up, because then if someone still message me with adult stuffs even after knowing how old I am, I can just block and report them right away without having to go through "Sorry, I'm 16, I'm not interested in these things. No I'm not RPing as 16, I'm really 16 in RL How were you supposed to know my age since I don't have that information publicly available on my profile or in chat 24/7? Oh well, you were just supposed to magically know that I am a minor based on my teen avi and that you're not supposed to send me IMs about adult stuffs.

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CeLlne wrote:

The reason I display my age, being a minor, is to prevent people from sending me adult messages or attempting to hit on me. It's what the people in the help area suggested when I first joined. Also, when I get on voice, people can pretty much determine how old I am. 

I can almost understand why those people gave you that advice, but in reality, I believe it does you more harm than good to be so open about your age.  Yes, some people might hit on you or send you adult messages (whatever that means), but those sort of advances are easily curtailed by instantly blocking that person once they've stepped out of line.

I sincerely hope that, even at your age, you'd be mature enough to handle that type of situation should it arise.  If not, then you simply shouldn't be participating in as open a virtual environment such as SL.  Declaring your status as a minor will not protect you and could very well make you a target, which it seems to have already done.

...Dres

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Regardless of age - in Second Life or in Real Life - for some reason we are all under the impression that we MUST talk to all these random strangers, that we MUST reply to every IM that comes in.

We don't.

You can go everywhere that is G-rated in Second Life, and it is a really big place. You might drop very lucky and have some landmarks sent to you inworld because you have posted here, although we are a relatively small number compared to actual users who log into Second Life the world itself.

Have you looked at Destination Guide for more PG venues to check out? I personally have found the so-called Welcome areas in Second Life to be the worst places for making long-term friendships, and so it doesn't surprise me to hear a lot of people have treated you in what seems like a pretty offhand and unfriendly manner. Please stick with it, keep exploring, and you will find some really cool places, and make some incredibly good friends.

http://secondlife.com/destinations?r=g

 

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I have to agree with Dres.

Your situation can only improve, if you stop pushing it into everyones face, that you are only 16. Welcome Areas and such are a rough place and your age will absolutly not protect you from anything. In fact, it makes people suspicious, why you display your age so directly. If someone flirts with you, simply say you are not interested, you do not need to give them a reason why.

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CeLlne wrote:

Based on personal experience, after having my age up in my profile, less people message me for adult stuff. People don't flirt with me when they talk to me. Of course that comes with a drawback of being treated condescendingly. It's easier to know who to report if I have my age up, because then if someone still message me with adult stuffs even after knowing how old I am, I can just block and report them right away without having to go through "Sorry, I'm 16, I'm not interested in these things. No I'm not RPing as 16, I'm really 16 in RL
How were you supposed to know my age since I don't have that information publicly available on my profile or in chat 24/7? Oh well, you were just supposed to magically know that I am a minor based on my teen avi and that you're not supposed to send me IMs about adult stuffs.

I find it curious that in a "G" rated location you are getting IM's for Adult stuff, though also I'm not sure what you mean by "Adult."

Nothing compells you to answer but if I were I'd simply reply "The reason I'm in a G Location is because I'm not interested in that stuff," and leave it at that.

 

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Declaring that I'm a minor will:

  1. make it easier to know who to block without having to explain that I'm a minor
  2. prevent people from being unintended pedophiles 
  3. reduce the amount of lewd talk in conversations (yes, it does happen, people are less lewd around me when they know my age)
  4. reduce the need to explain why I can't go to non PG sims, why I can't buy certain stuffs in MP
  5. gets treated with no respect and given no chance to talk

Not declaring that I'm a minor will:

  1. provide me with the chances to talk to people (not guaranteeing respect)
  2. everyone who hits on me instantly becomes a pedophile, not their fault they didn't know I'm a minor
  3. get me more lewd IMs from people
  4. have people constantly offer to TP me to non G-rated sims
  5. have me stumble for reasons when someone asks "why can't you go to Moderate or Adult sims?

Like I said, when I get on voice, people know. 

Yes I've tried looking in the Destinations Guide, I did mention that the pretty places I can go to are deserted. 

So basically you guys are suggesting that I never tell my age, and probably never go on voice again.

Adult messages: "hey your avi is cute. wanna f***"

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CeLlne wrote:

Based on personal experience, after having my age up in my profile, less people message me for adult stuff. People don't flirt with me when they talk to me. Of course that comes with a drawback of being treated condescendingly. It's easier to know who to report if I have my age up, because then if someone still message me with adult stuffs even after knowing how old I am, I can just block and report them right away without having to go through "Sorry, I'm 16, I'm not interested in these things. No I'm not RPing as 16, I'm really 16 in RL
How were you supposed to know my age since I don't have that information publicly available on my profile or in chat 24/7? Oh well, you were just supposed to magically know that I am a minor based on my teen avi and that you're not supposed to send me IMs about adult stuffs.

Sweety, I'm not trying to give you a hard time.  I'm honestly concerned about your well-being.  I want you to understand that not everyone regards an underage person as being off limits.  Yes, most people will refrain from hitting on you or exposing you to any sort of "adult stuff" if they know you're underage... those are not the ones about whom you need to worry.

There are a certain class of people who could see your age in your profile and, rather than disregard you because of it, will instead target you for that very reason.  They might very well be the sort of person who would, rather than flirt with you or IM you for adult stuff, wish to befriend you and gain your trust in hopes that one day you might let down your guard.

Think about it... while you can't necessarily avoid becoming ensnared by an evil individual such as that, the least you can do is stop advertizing your vulnerability to every evil individual who comes along.

I'm not trying to scare you... I just want you and every young person, to understand that exposing too much of yourselves can be very dangerous, whether it be in SL or on Facebook or whatever.  Just think of it as, "The less they know, the better."

Please, be careful.

...Dres

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CeLlne wrote:

Declaring that I'm a minor will:
  1. make it easier to know who to block without having to explain that I'm a minor
  2. prevent people from being unintended pedophiles 
  3. reduce the amount of lewd talk in conversations (yes, it does happen, people are less lewd around me when they know my age)
  4. reduce the need to explain why I can't go to non PG sims, why I can't buy certain stuffs in MP
  5. gets treated with no respect and given no chance to talk

Not declaring that I'm a minor will:
  1. provide me with the chances to talk to people (not guaranteeing respect)
  2. everyone who hits on me instantly becomes a pedophile, not their fault they didn't know I'm a minor
  3. get me more lewd IMs from people
  4. have people constantly offer to TP me to non G-rated sims
  5. have me stumble for reasons when someone asks "why can't you go to Moderate or Adult sims?

Like I said, when I get on voice, people know. 

Yes I've tried looking in the Destinations Guide, I did mention that the pretty places I can go to are deserted. 

So basically you guys are suggesting that I never tell my age, and probably never go on voice again.

Adult messages: "hey your avi is cute. wanna f***"

If posting your age in your profile is reducing the amount of harassment you are getting then go for it though it goes against what we may feel are the accepted "norms."

Linden Lab made SL accessible to Teens but really did nothing to make it "Teen Friendly."  Yes, it's a problem that's been discussed at great length in times past.

As far as the sexual solicitations, Abuse Report for sexual harassment and be sure  to point out that it happened on a "General" rated SIM.   And otherwise ignore/block.

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Freya Mokusei wrote:


Pamela Galli wrote:

Say what?  If someone posted that people were mean to him because he was 75 I would say the same thing. 


Say what-what? It'd still be a 'typical' non-comment. 
Not hard to determine age through typing, easier still through voice.

But yeah just pointing at examples - demonstrating erasure (there are now other examples). Thanks.

It seems to be that the OP has two choices: tell her age, or don't tell her age.  Since her complaint was about what happens when she does tell her age, my advice would be not to tell her age.

Later she says she doesnt like how she is treated when she doesn't tell her age, either.

Unless LL is willing to do something about ppl being mean or hitting on other people, she is stuck with her two choices. It's really not complicated.

 

 

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I can completely relate to everything you just said. I started SL when I was 15 and I never revealed my age to anyone for different reasons:

1. The prejudice towards underage people.

A lot of people (basically everyone) don't even want to talk to you after you tell them your age. I guess they don't know how to talk to you so they treat you like a freak. Just because somebody is underaged doesn't mean that you're mentally handicapped or stupid or maybe there's just some general hate for younger people. Another thing I have been thinking about is that it seems that a lot of them are on SL to have relationships or to release some sexual frustration so they have no interest in regular conversations.

2. The pervs

I don't think this one needs any explanation. SL is full of a lot of different folks and you never want to reveal your age especially when you're underaged. Pervs always go where they know other teenagers will be and disguise themselves as such just to get close to you. But gladly they're pretty easy to spot because they try too hard (omg sooo kewll etc)

All I can say is that even though I always lied about my age for my own protection I still managed to find many true friends (and a husband) who I still talk to until today and it's been what..7-8 years. And yes to those people I revealed my age and everything else.

I just think it's not necessary to reveal everything about yourself right off because SL is not a dating site, but merely a game (or an extension of real life) where you can connect to different people and if you do find true friends you can always reveal yourself to them later because they are less likely to judge.

All in all, SL is not really teenage friendly. Besides people not liking you, the restrictions are so strong that you really can't even go hair or clothes shopping and you're stuck to some sandbox. Either lie about your age to both parties or quit, that's just my way of seeing it.

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Crissy Palianta wrote:

 

 

 

I just think it's not necessary to reveal everything about yourself right off because SL is not a dating site, but merely a game (or an extension of real life) where you can connect to different people and if you do find true friends you can always reveal yourself to them later because they are less likely to judge.

 

Exactly. 

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Crissy Palianta wrote:

I still managed to find many true friends (and a husband) who I still talk to until today and it's been what..7-8 years.


You still talk  to your husband after 7-8 years? That's a long honeymoon period!

Actually, of more interest would be whether he is still listening to you . . .

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