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Adrielle4

"Second Life" isFeasible Friend finding Venue+

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Recently I read an in depth article on second life and while it offered details which were correct presented it more as virtual world falling short than what is great about it for majority of people and its other various offerings.   

So sure we can see it as interactive conversational venue and one that can easily compete with in-person gatherings but this is so broad and yet still not comprehensive so let's look at from what it does for people and just how that happens.

I estimate that most users when asked what is the bread 'n butter for them are usually quick to mention "meeting people, meeting people from all over the world and connecting.  Plenty expand a bit with "making friends", or "making real friends".  Let's look at the most complex one here for if this is understood the others will fall into place.   So I make 'real friends' here yes.  Define 'real' you say.  Ok, a real friend is someone you can talk with at length where there is mutual interest in spending time together.  It is time that is both give and take, listening and talking typically where there is emotional connection, some level of intellectual compatibility a feeling of having someone there for you-could be for advice, a confidant, some level of emotional support or encouragement, and sharing of ideas or perspective.   It would not be contingent on any sexual stimulation or service being provided.  For many text chat, often fairly extensive is enough for this. For me texting while can be part of it is not enough as I don't feel enough connection or knowing or feel for the other person without voice.   The option or openness for a video chat on skype maybe a plus but is not needed.  Built in to second life are a few ways to voice and extend to private individual and group calls where each person/avi can be anywhere and in such conference (including areas where nearby chat is not supported).   Once there is voice chat often the likes of which I engage far more than with my local friends, i certainly consider this a friendship.  I think its more obviously one to the outsider when one can boast 'should each be local enough, we'd get together over coffee' and many SL friendships are like that.   For this friendship to happen, much of the virtual world experience is not needed but may have had a role in each finding this friend or not: Each person may have for example met visually over a dance in specifically themed sim, perhaps drawn to it given some personal identification such as 'artsy, or hippy, or beach, association.   They could have met when perusing profile of those in groups with whom they also already have something in common to have found the avi particularly appealing or interesting.             

   So for someone purely looking for potential new friends, is second life feasible?  Best one word answer would have to be 'depends'.  If one is not able to negotiate the complexities of the platform and/or dislikes the the environment, is turned off by the interactions or the time that is typically needed for this, then probably not.  Adult level conversational skills would also make connecting in such verbal way at least helpful. It would also greatly depend on what other resources or venues one has in comparison and perhaps also particulars in ones socialization or even physical presentation (advantageous or disadvantage).  For myself, I work at home and while liking close friends and in depth conversation just have a few friends of which to engage me (usually on the phone).  To meet knew people is far from making a new friend.  Meeting someone is not difficult for me but meeting someone interesting is far more of a challenge.  But even this is often driving to a social event which is a hit or miss and may involve additional expense. Most of the time , even after many such trips, an interesting friendship is not begun.   In second life, its not magic either.  One has to encounter someone of interest and for this initiative may be needed.  However there are many people online, one can leave a message with for example "I liked you profile and am also interested in aging research or your music tastes'.  Instead of being limited to a small group,  you may very quickly be able to potentially engage a dozen people and the next hour rinse and repeat as needed.  This is a far cry from a typical driving across town, from finally the best event of the week,  being seated in chatting distance from 4-5 then driving home without so much as an email address. 

Ok, now what about dating and romance?  For dating I think match.com and similar are the best bet.  Its possible of course and sure people do meet future spouses on SL, but it relatively rare and not so feasible (distance, poor profile search protocol, sparse profiles).  Now romance and or erotic experience many do experience on SL.  Romantic feelings are a rare precious thing but my second month on SL to my astonishment I felt energized by such.  So not uncommonly this came about as I connected and friended someone who worked for me in that way.  Though fooling with the animations along with our talks we playfully discovered a highly erotic compatibility.  So I did get to experience  a bit of passion!  

So what are some of the pitfalls?  Well depends on what you are seeking or how you use SL but from perspective of someone who is primarily seeking real friendship with perhaps any romance as a bonus, its encountering people who pretend to seek the same/value it but who do not value it much.  Typically this would be the 'wanker', often a guy online for the singular purpose of added stimulus for his masturbation.   Also encumbering are people who recognize you as a stimulating friend, and want at least lots of conversation with you, but realize such interest would unlikely be returned so are dishonest about themselves.   For me little time is usually lost as where I require voice chat anyway, if it is not quickly available I do not spend time engaged and when it is, well I could understand quickly what I have or don't in this connection.  Interestingly though some of the men with whom were quite focused on the erotic were so well engaged via a voice chat and the connection to a human that it provided, that they were subsequently  engageable or more interested in a 'real friendship'.  I think the key here is generally if you having a good time and especially if you are building a friendship, getting emotional stimulation, nurturing or fortification, intellectual stimulation or plain old having fun you are not wasting time.  

 

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Second life is many things to many people, for me it is a chance to be things I cannot be in RL, either because of a lack of resources, faulty genetics, or plain fear of putting myself out there. As for friendships, sure I make them, but I am always thinking, if they are attracted to my SL self, my RL self is going to bore the crap out of them.

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I didn't join SL to meet people, certainly not for anything romantic. Yet here I am 10 years later with some amazing friends, some of whom I have met in RL and even gone on holiday with and of course there's my partner :) who I just met by pure chance 10 years ago too.   I am not exactly sure what your post is looking for in responses to be honest.  It's definitely not match.com or tinder or whatever and I think people coming here for that will be disappointed.

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Like Cindy, I didn't come here looking for friends.  They just happened.  Some of my closest friends are people I met here 12 years ago and still just sit and chat with several times a week.  I've met people I work with daily, trade ideas, and find intellectually stimulating. I have no romantic interests here at all, and no connections to RL.  This is a rich community of friends, almost all of whom I will never know outside of SL..

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Posted (edited)

Idk lol. I came here to make clothes, learnt how NOT to do 3d mesh, (yukky prims) and taught myself proper mesh in RL. Plenty of friends. Something I never expected to happen. :)  When I found out about "pixelling" I nearly vomited & logged out in disgust. Got over it and I'm still here.

Edited by Maryanne Solo
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Very well said.. I have made some SL friends that became RL ones. I have friends with benefits in SL that will become nothing more. 

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Some are very close RL friends and some are just friends with benefits however with the WB, some I consider very dear friends and can not imagine talking to in SL about random stuff.

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