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Public Chat or IM? Has a Culture Shift in SL Made It Harder to Meet People?


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5 hours ago, Evangeline Arcadia said:

I'm appreciative of this thread and comment like Caerolle - as someone who finds it a bit strange to be IM'd when chat could be used, this thread has opened my eyes to the fact that not everyone sees it that way, and to be a little more open and friendly about such IMs as other's see it as quite normal (not that I'm downright rude, more guarded than anything:) ).

i will take this onboard as well. I will try to think about it more neutrally. As my actual actions probably won't change, how I think about things only affects what is happening in my head

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I'm not a chatty person. And I don't like people. The two may be related.

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2 hours ago, Tari Landar said:

The only thing this thread has accomplished for me, is reiterating my belief that I should never talk to anyone, ever

Yay

 

My communication in SL orbits these days is pretty much all Discord all the time.  I can type sometimes, at least a little.  If I have to; I guess.

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2 hours ago, Skell Dagger said:

That flipside is that - despite not even being interested in women - because I see so many women complaining about men only sending IMs as an expectant precursor for a roll in the hay, I feel obliged every time to offer an upfront disclaimer before the actual text of my IM if said IM is merely conversational or complimentary rather than work-related: "Absolutely not coming on to you, but I just wanted to tell you that I think your avatar looks incredibly unique. Just thought you'd like to know that someone appreciated the work that you put into it. Have a great day!" etc.

I'm not a dude, but you said it better than I did. 

The fact that disclaimers like this are necessary, and are growing at an exponential rate it seems-from anyone, regardless of gender, is, well, frankly, sad.


I do fully understand some of the people who have essentially said "I don't like being messaged out of the blue..but I'm not going to be a jerk about it, I just don't like it". They have their reasons for not liking it, and I really don't want to seem judgmental of those reasons. I too have gotten plenty of unwanted IMs over the years-some of the more adult nature, some just absolutely annoying but harmless otherwise.  They can be unpleasant as the day is long, and figuring out how to deal with them if you get them frequently, is likely problematic for some.

I will, and am admittedly being, very judgmental of some of the arrogance I've seen (not just here, I've seen people inworld say this stuff too). It's the automatic assumptions about others' intentions, with no proof whatsoever,  that get under my skin. This is especially so when they come from people who are constantly saying "don't judge me", well, fool, don't think I want your pixel bits either just because I say hi, or Im you for any other reason. I promise you that I don't, and I doubt the rest of the grid does either, NO one in sl is that amazing,  lmao.  (I mean, there are some amazing people, but..come on, lol)

I do care about people that have been hurt, or have experienced things (health related things included) in rl to the point that it negatively affects communication they have with others, which is why I really don't want to seem offensive towards that aspect. It's the whole "everyone must want me" part that really makes no sense at all. It's also the part that forces people to not want to communicate with others, need disclaimers...'meh, I I probably should've left this topic a while ago :) 

Skell said it better :D

 

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6 minutes ago, Tari Landar said:

I will, and am admittedly being, very judgmental of some of the arrogance I've seen (not just here, I've seen people inworld say this stuff too). It's the automatic assumptions about others' intentions, with no proof whatsoever,  that get under my skin. This is especially so when they come from people who are constantly saying "don't judge me", well, fool, don't think I want your pixel bits either just because I say hi, or Im you for any other reason. I promise you that I don't, and I doubt the rest of the grid does either, NO one in sl is that amazing,  lmao.  (I mean, there are some amazing people, but..come on, lol)

Tari, you seem to be working under the assumption that the primary reason some people don't like receiving IMs from people they've had no other contact with, is that they are assuming they are being hit on.

There's not much question that, for many of us, that is part of the equation. Frankly, the majority of cold IMs I receive are from men who are interested in connecting with me somehow. That's not based on an assumption: that's simple experience from actually having conversations -- albeit, often short ones -- with these people. Maybe I'm arrogant, but I'm also not entirely stupid: when a guy starts asking about the size of my RL boobs, I feel I'm on pretty safe ground in making assumptions. I think it's wonderful that you aren't getting, apparently, so many of these, but that might just be a function of the different places we hang out? As for other women here -- well, I'd love to think that I'm just so darned irresistible that men are compelled to IM me with sexual or romantic advances, but sadly I'm not that arrogant, and I know that this is not the case.

More to the point, however . . . the annoyance of unwanted attention from men is not the only reason, nor even necessarily the main reason, why many of us prefer open chat over IM. Read Maddy's response, or Rolig's, or mine for that matter. I'm sure there are others.

Is it helpful to speculate about the motives for people's preference for one form of communication or another, and to make disparaging assumptions about the nature of their attitude towards others? Or might it not be better to simply accept that people have preferences, that those preferences, whatever their source, are valid, and that we should try to account for those differences when we engage with others?

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15 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Tari, you seem to be working under the assumption that the primary reason some people don't like receiving IMs from people they've had no other contact with, is that they are assuming they are being hit on.

 

 

 

You seem to have missed the posts where exactly that was said ;)  Well, before it was edited out and verbiage changed to not seem so off kilter real quick anyway ;)

But, yes there are/were posts that say folks who IM them will get shut down on the premise that these IMs must all be adult in nature.

That's a bit difficult to swallow. 

Although even the mere idea that most people who IM others "out of the blue" have some kind of bad intent from word go, is pretty insulting, and I don't know how to best convey how insulting it really sounds without being insulting myself. It's one thing if you have proof, like you said, someone asking about your rl boobs-yeah, that's likely what they want. I don't know how anyone can presume to know the reason people IM out of the blue without the person who is doing to IMing offering some kind of evidence, though-it's a bad presumption. Being overly cautious, and a bit wary of some, or hell even all folks, I do get, entirely. People can be wary and cautious for all kinds of reasons-I am not judging all of those reasons, I am merely judging the "everyone wants me" reason.

But, like I said, that's my mileage and my problem to deal with. It may be a weird thing (to others) for me to be offended by, but I'm not too big headed to admit that it is indeed something I find overly offensive with no sound reasoning behind it, knowing that most people probably couldn't give two left nuts about your (general) pixel bits or getting a pickle tickle out of a greeting.  There are plenty who do, and would...but most..nah, they really aren't all in sl for that, lol. 

I really, really, really don't like people assuming I'm IM-ing them because I want slex-I would never, from anyone-so ANYONE that assumes that of me..in my mind, is being an absolute....(insert your own explicative, lol) . It does make me far less likely to want to interact with anyone, in any way. It can be hard enough to communicate and convey tone, intent, people with the wrong idea of everyone right out the gate aren't helping any, lol. 

I'm not sure how to explain it without being super offensive, and I've been really trying not to be. It was a funny (maybe not haha funny, but...funny interesting) topic at one time, but now..knowing that if I IM any number of people in this thread-or anywhere else in sl, they're going to think I want their pixel bits.....

🤢🤮

I'll stick to wandering the grid by myself and enjoying my bunnies. Y'all can keep your IMs 

Edited by Tari Landar
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21 minutes ago, Tari Landar said:

You seem to have missed the posts where exactly that was said ;) 

 

Well, no. I've seen mention of the issue of IMs from men. But they hardly constitute the major theme here.

And I also don't see in them any evidence of "arrogant assumptions." I'm not sure why you should assume that they don't know what they are talking about.

Again, though . . . does it matter why people prefer local over IMs, or vice versa? You seem to be arguing that your speculative assumptions about their "arrogance" somehow invalidates their preference. Does it?

Why focus on trying to undercut people's reasons for their choices, rather than thinking about how we might interact with those whose choices are different than ours?

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Just now, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Why focus on trying to undercut people's reasons for their choices, rather than thinking about how we might interact with those whose choices are different than ours?

I already stated my peace on the rest (ie, IM versus local), the convo has pretty much morphed, well, titled or shifted a bit maybe, not sure what term to use here... as they all tend to.

I am not undercutting all of their reasons for not wanting IMs from people, I undercutted ONE reason, and I said why I was undercutting it, because I find it to be an offensive reason with absolutely no basis. I also stated precisely why I find it offensive. Others have also given examples of why those presumptions tend to cause more harm than good. 

I did state, multiple times now, that people have many reasons for the communication choices they have made-as it pertains to IM versus local chat. You probably missed that in my walls of text, lol. I do understand that our preferences vary greatly, and I appreciate that aspect of communication in sl. I actually appreciate reading others opinions too, on lots of things. Even if they make me even more wary of communicating with others, I can appreciate that they are others' preferences and why they have them. I have seen one too many people say "if you IM me, I'm going to assume...." and I have conveyed that this approach can make communication far more difficult for others. 

I do not, will not, and cannot, appreciate the idea that if I IM someone, they are going to assume I'm doing to so get in their pants. While I am, quite often, staunch in my positions, I am almost always willing to adjust how I feel as I get more evidence suggesting I should. On this matter, however, I won't, because that would mean I'd need to concede to the notion that I would ever IM anyone for adult purposes...and I would not. I said it pertained to me not to everyone else, lol. I think that's a very stupid assumption to have right out the gate of anyone, but to have it of me is extremely offensive to me. I also think having negative assumptions of people before they even say hi isn't exactly going to bode well for most people either, but how I feel about their choices when dealing with others is probably irrelevant to most people. I care how they feel about interactions with me, though.  Others probably don't care if everyone they IM thinks they want to sleep with them. Good for them. I do care, though. 

Why is it wrong for me to be bothered by people assuming I want slex if I dare IM them? 

 

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1 hour ago, Tari Landar said:

But, yes there are/were posts that say folks who IM them will get shut down on the premise that these IMs must all be adult in nature.

If this is in any way in reference to my posts, you've got me all wrong. I've never said they were all or must all be adult in nature. That's putting words into my mouth I never said, implied or meant.

What part of "I am not in SL for sex of any way, shape or form," is so hard to understand and if you IM me wanting said sex I will shut you down in a heartbeat and likely won't be anything other than quite blunt about it so they will go away and leave me the ef alone. ffs

Edited by Selene Gregoire
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36 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Well, no. I've seen mention of the issue of IMs from men. But they hardly constitute the major theme here.

I agree. I, Maddy, and several others have joined in this discussion without any mention of sex.  For many others, it seems to be an important personal reason for choosing to use IMs or local chat.  With the exception of a few people from whom it is the central concern, I agree with you, Scylla. I see no overwhelming assumption here that most men who start an IM conversation are trying to troll for sex. The important thread that runs though our conversation here has nothing to do with sex. It iis that we all have different personal reasons for choosing one default way to communication rather than another, and that it's wise to get beyond those reasons and ask how we should interact with each other -- EACH OTHER, not the people who are IMming us. Can we recognize that regardless of why I prefer to use local chat and Bitsy prefers to IM, the two of us have to honor each other's choice?  Can I understand that Bitsy's preference is not a commentary on how I behave?  Can I learn to accept her preference for IMs without seeing it as rudeness?  Those are the important questions.

@Bitsy Buccaneer : I hope you understand that I am not picking on you at all.  I am mentioning you only as an example of someone who has given me some constructive insights about how my own view of IMs in public communication has been too narrow.  You've made me think.  Thank you.

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14 minutes ago, Rolig Loon said:

It iis that we all have different personal reasons for choosing one default way to communication rather than another, and that it's wise to get beyond those reasons and ask how we should interact with each other -- EACH OTHER, not the people who are IMming us. Can we recognize that regardless of why I prefer to use local chat and Bitsy prefers to IM, the two of us have to honor each other's choice?  Can I understand that Bitsy's preference is not a commentary on how I behave?  Can I learn to accept her preference for IMs without seeing it as rudeness?  Those are the important questions.

Just citing for emphasis.

Thank you, Rolig: this gets at what I've been trying to say much more eloquently and succinctly than I have.

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2 hours ago, Tari Landar said:

I do not, will not, and cannot, appreciate the idea that if I IM someone, they are going to assume I'm doing to so get in their pants. While I am, quite often, staunch in my positions, I am almost always willing to adjust how I feel as I get more evidence suggesting I should. On this matter, however, I won't, because that would mean I'd need to concede to the notion that I would ever IM anyone for adult purposes...and I would not. I said it pertained to me not to everyone else, lol. I think that's a very stupid assumption to have right out the gate of anyone, but to have it of me is extremely offensive to me. I also think having negative assumptions of people before they even say hi isn't exactly going to bode well for most people either, but how I feel about their choices when dealing with others is probably irrelevant to most people. I care how they feel about interactions with me, though.  Others probably don't care if everyone they IM thinks they want to sleep with them. Good for them. I do care, though. 

Why is it wrong for me to be bothered by people assuming I want slex if I dare IM them?

Tari, honestly, I'm a bit confused by this.

You are upset at women who assume that men are IMing them for sex because . . . you think that this means that they will assume that you are also contacting them for sex?

Has this happened to you a lot?

Or, like, you know . . . ever?

Edited by Scylla Rhiadra
Oof.
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I haven't caught up on the entire thread, and probably won't, but I do have something to add which may have been mentioned already.

How I approach other people for the first time is independent of my tolerance for how other people approach me. Though I do put some thought into whether I make initial contact with someone via public chat or IM, I have absolutely no issue with people who approach me in the reverse way under the same conditions. I don't presume that my personal communications style is commonplace. I'm actually pretty sure it's not.

How you start a conversation with me means very little compared to the conversation we actually have. How I start a conversation with you means a lot.

Yesterday, while in a public sandbox, I witnessed this...
Hurling_003.thumb.jpg.73eab70ec0713d12f6c3eb11d3b4c2a3.jpg

Imagine my curiosity. Do I inquire in public chat (there were two other avis nearby) or IM her to ask if she needs medical attention? This is a public place, so I'd normally use public chat. But this is clearly not the time to make one of my wry observations in front of others. So, I IMed her. She laughed. We proceeded to have a lovely conversation.

This isn't rocket science for me, it's simply about making other people smile.

Edited by Madelaine McMasters
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8 minutes ago, Erwin Solo said:

I don't mind the IMs, except the ones that just say "hi."  I have an autoresponder that says to go ahead and type your question; don't expect any response to "hi."

I actually do respond to those . . . because, why not? It only takes a few seconds to produce what is probably my normal response to that: "Uh, hi?"

I'd say that about half the time, a conversation, of some sort, develops. And about half the time, I don't get a reply.

I don't know that any of those particular overtures has ever developed into something memorable, but hey . . . nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

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3 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

I actually do respond to those . . . because, why not? It only takes a few seconds to produce what is probably my normal response to that: "Uh, hi?"

I'd say that about half the time, a conversation, of some sort, develops. And about half the time, I don't get a reply.

I don't know that any of those particular overtures has ever developed into something memorable, but hey . . . nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

Yesterday, while chatting with the woman who was hurling into her pillow, I was IMed by another woman who'd clearly read my profile. She'd rezzed an oscilloscope in front of me and went looking for a window she could throw me through. That precipitated another lovely little chat, and the gift of the oscilloscope. When I have a little time, I'll send her something I made.

Though my li'l devil avatar doesn't invite amorous advances, I have had them in the past. They neither caught my interest nor earned my disdain. I imagine that, if I were wanting a companion, I might annoy a few people during the search. Hopefully they'd let me down as easily as I do those who approach me.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Right.

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4 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

Yesterday, while chatting with the woman who was hurling into her pillow, I was IMed by another woman who'd clearly read my profile. She'd rezzed an oscilloscope in front of me and went looking for a window she could throw me through. That precipitated another lovely little chat, and the gift of the oscilloscope. When I have a little time, I'll send her something I made.

Though my li'l devil avatar doesn't invite amorous advances, I have had them in the past. They neither caught my interest nor earned my disdain. I imagine that, if I were wanting a companion, I might annoy a few people during the search. Hopefully they'd let me down as easily as I do those who approach me.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Right.

Well, you gained an oscilloscope.

Which is much nicer than the alternative, a vomit-loaded pillow.

And somewhere out there, Maddy, there is undoubtedly an adorable little succubus who is your perfect match.

In fact, I'm going to go look for her now.

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I get plenty of IMs while I'm hosting from people that I don't know and I never know if I'm being hit on or not until we've conversed for a bit.  I don't judge, I listen and respond.  Half the time someone is commenting on something I've said in local, either agreeing or disagreeing or sharing something of themselves. 

The other half is split between people who need my help and people who are hitting on me. Wanting to connect is not a crime.  Not taking no for an answer without resorting to nastiness is rather immature, but it does me no harm.

The thing I truly love about SL is that as a woman I don't have to feel afraid that someone intends to rape me.  It can't happen here. So they want a pixel hookup, so what? I can say no thanks.  If they don't listen when I tell them politely, I can block them. I find that wonderfully freeing.

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4 hours ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Tari, honestly, I'm a bit confused by this.

You are upset at women who assume that men are IMing them for sex because . . . you think that this means that they will assume that you are also contacting them for sex?

Has this happened to you a lot?

Or, like, you know . . . ever?

I would have to assume that any and all who did, and do, say that they get angry upset, or irritated, whatever words they want to use, about people who IM them out of the blue were both women and were only referring to men that do so. I didn't make that assumption, pretty sure I'd offend someone else if I did (I know it would actually, I did that once here..never again), and I've done enough of that for one night, lol.  I also don't presume to know the orientation(s) of others, though, that too would be pretty offensive I think. 

Yes, I have actually had women (and men) get irate or irritated with me in IM because I dared say hello, especially in a public place, and while it's rare that(or at least I think it's rare) that they assume I meant "hello, can I get in your pants?" (I've had more partners of people I have talked with make that assumption than people themselves...people get real damn possessive of others in sl for some reason), them getting irate, even irritated at my hello is rather stupid to me, they may have reasons, but I can't possibly know them when I strike up a convo, so I only have my opinions to go on. I have had people assume it meant I wanted to sleep with them, though, and that assumption is a bit offensive, no matter how rare, no matter who makes the assumption. I'm willing to bet guys run into this problem more frequently than women. Like Skell mentioned...some even have to include disclaimers because...presumptions. I've had people IM me with similar disclaimers before conversing, especially when working on different lengthy projects inworld because it happens so frequently to them that they feel it's necessary..I find that a bit sad. No one should need those disclaimers.  I, personally, read profiles before talking to people, always have, even people who talk to me first, are nowhere near me, whatever..I open profiles, it helps in lots of ways. But I still can't always know who will and won't welcome an IM. It's weird, to me, to get mad at me for what I can't possibly know. (or anyone else for what they can't know). But maybe I have conversed with far too many people inworld over the years to begin with, lol, that's entirely possible. 

People that get irritated with others for simply IMing them without asking first in local do confuse me a bit, even if I understand they may have reasons an respect that they have reasons. I don't understand why some people seem(ed) so angry, or bothered, by people who really are just wanting to strike up a conversation with them. I think, and perhaps I am wrong in this, that for folks who really are very bothered by IMs, either using the ban hammer of all options and disallowing such from non-friends(some would say harsh, but I do actually get it, some folks need this option and it's there for good reason) or simply ignoring people is the best option, and would probably end whatever uncomfortable position the receiver felt he/she was in (which I DO understand, whether or not I experience it as often, I understand that my mileage is not your mileage, your mileage is not my mileage, and others' follows suit). 

(though some of my, what probably came across more as animosity, regarding the adult bit came from getting stupid IMs-which went to email I might add, I wasn't logged in, lol- in world from someone ranting and raving about how frequently they get propositioned and blah, blah, blah,.... and telling me ffs on repeat...it got annoying as all get out, not the first time, and I'm kinda tired of being told ffs all the damn time by the same people.  I know I can be annoying and annoyingly verbose too, but the ignore feature works super well)  

Edited by Tari Landar
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I would like to clarify what I said in my first post in this topic but first I want to apologise to anyone upset by it.

I had the most common and prominent experiences that I encounter with random IMs in mind when I posted because I am most affected by those.  It was not meant to be an all encompassing description of how I treat everyone and I realise it sounded way worse than I intended or really is.

I also apologise for my statement where I said "The people who seem to hate chat the most are...".  Again, I had a specific subset of people in mind, those who want to ask intimately detailed questions or say abusive things that they know will not show them in a good light to others in chat.  I do get a lot of those, my only assumption was that all women in SL experience this, not just me.  Those people say their piece and there is no doubt of their intentions - I never have to make assumptions.

I realise coming back to my post how it reads to people who naturally shy away from chat for legitimate reasons.  I never meant to imply they were like the others.
My statements were never about anyone I know do either, I only had in mind those kind of stranger IMs.

I offer no defence, my post was thoughtless, careless and insensitive.  Please accept my genuine apologies.

I do get some (not many) IMs from people I have never interacted with before and are out of the blue who are reasonable and I do respond in kind.  I do even occasionally answer the IMs that just have "Hi" in them.  However I often wait before responding to those hoping that they say why they initiated contact.  I don't feel any obligation just to say "Hi" back and I will not apologise for that but even then do sometimes on occasion depending on my mood.  I was raised to get to the point when contacting people you don't know, they might be busy even if you just say "Hi, are you available to chat with me for a short while?"

I do this with strangers on the phone and at my door too, they initiated the call or rang my bell and so I wait for them to say who they are and why they called.  I don't see this as unusual or rude.

Edited by Gabriele Graves
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I'm probably an IM-Person. Not because I hate local chat or anything, but usually for practical reasons. IMs enssure I don't miss being spoken to. Public chat in SL can often feel like the entire population of a small sized supermarket could talk to each other at once and you could hear the person next to you just as clearly as the person three aisles away. Also local chat often contains the same uninteresting nonesense as random chatting at the grocery store does...and gestures. I also go a lot more afk than I used to in my first year. IMs buy me time to respond without losing track of the conversation.

That being said...if I am somewhere and there is a conversation going on in local chat, I do enjoy that and participate, if I can. It gives a place atmosphere. 

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6 minutes ago, Selene Gregoire said:

One thing my time on the forum and this thread has taught me. I'll just have to accept I won't ever be "good" enough for everyone/anyone else which means what I've always suspected. Having friends is never going to happen for me. C'est la vie.

...looks carefully at her friends list before setting you on fire, twice.

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10 minutes ago, Selene Gregoire said:

One thing my time on the forum and this thread has taught me. I'll just have to accept I won't ever be "good" enough for everyone/anyone else which means what I've always suspected. Having friends is never going to happen for me. C'est la vie.

If you mean "friends" like Nancy Drew had at summer camp in 1955, I won't either.  I haven't come close to having that kind of friend since I was about 8 years old -- and probably not then, to be honest. I'm not one to share intimate secrets and giggle about imagined romances, but I have many friends that I enjoy chatting and spending idle time with.  

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