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Beth Macbain

Honesty and Trust in SL Relationships

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Yes, I'm starting a new topic about this in the correct spot on the forums, partially because the fact that SL has a forum dedicated to lifestyles and relationships is a comment on LL's thoughts on relationships forming in SL.

More telling to me, though, is this video from Drax posted on the official SL YouTube channel:

It's part of an entire series produced by Drax (I think) and posted on the official SL YouTube page called "Love Made in Second Life". It's being promoted throughout their social media. I became aware of it on Instagram. I think it's also worth noting that the man who is basically the head honcho of SL met his real life husband in Second Life. 

I think it's safe to say that Second Life is putting itself out there as a place where people can potentially find love that moves beyond the confines of Second Life and into the real world.

Second Life also has a very comprehensive TOS that we all agree to when we join SL that essentially gives people the permission to withhold the truth from each other. The TOS, like every TOS, is there to protect LL from lawsuits. It has also been pointed out that SL has the "Your World. Your Imagination" slogan, and has for years, thus furthering the notion that pretending to be someone else entirely is a-okay. 

We, as humans with internet access, live our lives on the Internet in various ways. We pay bills, we shop, we communicate, we educate ourselves, and others, we play games, we get our news, we listen to music, watch movies, get directions, we work, etc., etc. Oh, and we date, too. Asking a couple where they met, and having them answer "on the internet" is common in 2020. 

I don't know that there are any right or wrong answers to any of these questions. I do know that I feel respect should be given, and respect should be returned. 

  • Is it acceptable, or expected, for people who become involved in intimate partner relationships to reveal details regarding their real life such as gender, race, species, body shape (trying to cover the real life vampire body builders), etc. or is it accepted or expected that people will continue to move forward in relationships without sharing certain details, or that they will continue basing their relationship on an avatar that doesn't "match" their RL person? 
  • Whichever side of the fence you are on, how should that best be conveyed to your partners or potential partners, or does it need to be conveyed at all?
  • We frequently see different versions of "SL is SL and RL is RL" or "I mix SL and RL" on people's profiles. Is this adequate?
  • How do you move forward when you see either of those things on someone's profile?
  • Second Life is 16 going on 17 (I know you're singing that). Has it evolved into something different than it was, in terms of interpersonal, or intimate partner, relationships, since it was born? 
  • This also leads into the eternal SL debate - Is it a game or not? 
  • Who makes that decision or distinction? 
  • How do you feel about SL promoting itself as a sort of dating site kind of thing?
  • Are there spoken, or unspoken, overarching rules that every single person who logs in should know, and adhere to, in respect to intimate partner relationships?
  • Is the TOS giving tacit approval to lying, or is it there to cover their ass?
  • At what point, if any, do real life social mores, conventions, norms, customs come into play, or do we leave them at the pixel door when we log in?

I'm truly curious to gauge other's opinions on this, and I'm not trying to start any sort of war with anyone. I think SL is at a crossroads right now when it comes to these sort of things and has left the SL population sort of floundering as to what the purpose of SL is. It's always been something different for each and every person who uses it, but now they are giving, I think, approval to relationships moving from SL to RL with this current social media campaign. 

How do we all live together in harmony (hahahahahahahaha) when there are so many divergent views of what exactly SL is, and what it's for?

 

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While there have always been folks that have come to SL to hook up, with quite a few taking it to RL, I do think that there are more people coming to SL these days specifically for dating - possibly because of LL promoting that aspect.  Additionally, just like any other online venue, there will always be people who are not honest about RL specifics and people who just don't discuss them.

IMO, if someone is here looking for relationships, whether they are intended to be SL only or extend into RL, and those relationships have conditions of any sort (gender, geographical location, age, etc....) it is up to that person to specify that to anyone they hook up with. Also, IMO, if someone gets involved in a relationship with said person, knowing all of the conditions that matter to that person, then it is morally wrong and disrespectful for them to lie about such.  However, moral right and wrong are not absolutes - they are individually defined.  Thus why the statement was qualified with "IMO".

By the same token, I don't think that LL should be changing anything about the rules regarding RL info.  Like anywhere else on the internet, the old adage of 'Buyer Beware' still applies.

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SL is different to each user, so considering the amount of users, we can consider there are the subsuquent number of realities, and putting rules to cover them all would be almost impossible.

To me, what matters most (and has helped over an over through the years), is common sense. As in RL, you will find people in the metaverse who wear different masks, and sometimes it is a question of time for them to be revelaed; sometimes, you will never find out. So being cautious,is the most helpful rule. Recently, I have found out that someone I thought was a a good friend, has been wearing a mask for many many years... Well, that could also happen in RL, but hidding behind an avatar and screen, is a plus to some people.

SL is much more than a dating platform, thank goodness, but I have friends that are in here because they do want to find that intimacy with others, and they are quite clear about it, keeping an honest approach, taking the other person in consideration. Not all are that honest, so, take some precautions...

Edited by Elena Core
typos
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1 hour ago, Beth Macbain said:

Is it acceptable, or expected, for people who become involved in intimate partner relationships to reveal details regarding their real life such as gender, race, species, body shape (trying to cover the real life vampire body builders), etc. or is it accepted or expected that people will continue to move forward in relationships without sharing certain details, or that they will continue basing their relationship on an avatar that doesn't "match" their RL person? 

That's an interesting question. You are asking about expectations, maybe what seems reasonable? From my perspective if a relationship is confined to second life then it seems ok for people to live out their projected identity without disclosure . For instance, this is somewhere that a male or female can live out their alternate gendered self and explore those possibilities in an environment which holds less risks than real life. However if someone was padding out that identity by constantly lying about their real life to maintain a false reality then..hmm that feels icky.  

 

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SL can promote itself in any way it chooses, as long as what is being promoted is a possibility.  Dating in SL leading to a RL relationship is a possibility, though remote.  A few people highlighted in a Drax video could well represent almost the entirety of people for whom the world-bridging was successful; I doubt it's many more than that.

SL dating can only be an approximation of reality, as proof of RL characteristics is limited to what a person can discern for themselves inworld, unless they have some real world ability by virtue of occupation or other access to data.  It has to come down to the level of honesty between the people involved, in their own integrity and in the rules they set between them for their relationship.

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3 hours ago, Beth Macbain said:
  • Is it acceptable, or expected, for people who become involved in intimate partner relationships to reveal details regarding their real life such as gender, race, species, body shape (trying to cover the real life vampire body builders), etc. or is it accepted or expected that people will continue to move forward in relationships without sharing certain details, or that they will continue basing their relationship on an avatar that doesn't "match" their RL person? 
  • Whichever side of the fence you are on, how should that best be conveyed to your partners or potential partners, or does it need to be conveyed at all?
  • We frequently see different versions of "SL is SL and RL is RL" or "I mix SL and RL" on people's profiles. Is this adequate?
  • How do you move forward when you see either of those things on someone's profile?
  • Second Life is 16 going on 17 (I know you're singing that). Has it evolved into something different than it was, in terms of interpersonal, or intimate partner, relationships, since it was born? 
  • This also leads into the eternal SL debate - Is it a game or not? 
  • Who makes that decision or distinction? 
  • How do you feel about SL promoting itself as a sort of dating site kind of thing?
  • Are there spoken, or unspoken, overarching rules that every single person who logs in should know, and adhere to, in respect to intimate partner relationships?
  • Is the TOS giving tacit approval to lying, or is it there to cover their ass?
  • At what point, if any, do real life social mores, conventions, norms, customs come into play, or do we leave them at the pixel door when we log in?
  • What is acceptable and expected is an individual question, there aren't any universal rules - but there are also laws in some countries (including the US, I believe), that prohibit (sometimes with rather harsh legal consequences) fraudulent identification; and this doesn't only concern cases of economical loss, but includes 'catfishing'.
  • Again, this is up to the individuals whom it concerns; for me, it's usually about exchanging pictures (heck, my RL picture is available on my RL tab of my profile, as well as on my Discord; I have no fears about showing my face), and usually voice-chatting at some point or other (although I'm not a very chatty individual, I've had people get mad with me for not talking enough and not seeming interested enough - I'm more of a 'if you don't have anything to say, say nothing' type, most of the time). I'm not the type who demands voice verification on the first date, if at all; if a person doesn't want to voice / share pictures, there can't be an RL connection for me, though - looking at a person's face and speaking to each other are things most people do every day to strangers and people around them, it seems strange to me that one would not want to do that with someone which they have a romantic interest in that extends into real life.
  • No, this is just pretentious. If "SL is SL" is true, you're role playing your avatar; the majority of people who do that aren't good enough actors to remove themselves fully from their virtual identities though. Not wanting to give strangers on the Internet your home address is fine, and if you don't want to engage with people and make friends, fine - but when people are hesitant to say what time zone or country they're in, it just appears paranoid. Some people might not care, and to me it's not an issue of 'caring', but rather how much trust I can offer someone, who doesn't trust me with a vague indication of what corner of the globe they're in. What am I going to do, fly to Australia and start knocking on doors?
  • I don't. Either statement is irrelevant to me; people who write "SL is SL" often aren't entirely committed to it, and some of them are even quite open about who they are - it doesn't necessarily translate into 'I don't voice, I won't tell you what country I'm in, I won't tell you what my occupation is', but rather that they do not seek to move any SL relations into their RL. That said, seeing either line in a profile doesn't particularly make a person seem interesting or uninteresting; it's superfluous filler to a usually otherwise uninspired profile that goes down the tick-boxes of what to put in a dating profile to give people a brief sense of who you are. It doesn't. "I like the beach" only tells me that you've got a poor sense of self-perception and that you aren't particularly creative, and doesn't spur me to say "Peekaboo" either. Putting an out-of-context Einstein quote in your profile doesn't make you appear intelligent either, even monkeys and dogs can be taught to imitate.
  • I couldn't tell. I've grown more suspicious and careful of strangers, than I was when I first set foot here, and I know that the way I interact with strangers certainly has changed over the years. What other people do or how they interact doesn't interest me terribly much.
  • No, it's not a 'game'. It's a platform capable of social and creative aspects which are far from what you expect, when you hear the word 'video game'. But then again, it's a matter of perspective; what is a game? Is life itself a game? I certainly don't take life serious enough to find it impossible to perceive life as a game, and thus, Second Life is an aspect of that game. I don't get offended or whiny if people use the term, but I myself do not.
  • I do.
  • I don't 'feel' anything. Linden Lab are entirely free to advertise and promote their product however they see fit. If it was my product, I might do it differently though. More explosions.
  • Unless you're an utter failure of a person, yes. If you haven't figured out 'how to life' by the age of 18, and decide to throw yourself into a second life, don't expect to do better here.
  • It's there to cover their donkey.
  • I think that pretty much everyone brings their world view into Second Life. Whether that's changed within Second Life, and in extension their real life, is another question. If you're a racist twit in real life, chances are you'll be a racist twit in Second Life as well - perhaps, whilst in Second Life, you'll meet people and see things that will change your views, or perhaps you'll see things that reaffirm them. Social convention and norms tend to be at play whether you're consciously aware of them or not. If you see a friend or acquaintance in Second Life, chances are you will say something along the lines of "Hello there, how are you today?" (alt. "yo dude whatup") - that's you already working towards fulfilling your end of the social contract in regards to that person, and it's deeply rooted in real life social convention how we do it.
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I don't (didn't?) intend to post to the forums too much on any topic other than MP anymore, but.....this is a very good subject. IT"s also one in which I, a person who met their rl love "on the intrnet", so, it appeals to me from that point as well. Though, truth be told, it's always been an intriguing topic for me :)

That's my medium winded way of saying "good topic, thanks" :)
 

5 hours ago, Beth Macbain said:

Is it acceptable, or expected, for people who become involved in intimate partner relationships to reveal details regarding their real life such as gender, race, species, body shape (trying to cover the real life vampire body builders), etc. or is it accepted or expected that people will continue to move forward in relationships without sharing certain details, or that they will continue basing their relationship on an avatar that doesn't "match" their RL person? 

I think that, like some of the other questions, this is 100% an individual decision, though it is one that some make a valiant effort at forcing opinions on (Towards?) others. BY that I merely mean that some people seem to believe their opinion is universal, and it's very difficult for them not to do so. Me, I don't think that way. While i do greatly appreciate honesty, I don't necessarily believe that not telling people this information is dishonest, at least, not always. I am of the camp that believes most people are as honest as they feel necessary, as honest as they are comfortable with, and try to respect that others are doing the same. What can muddy up those waters are these infuriating things we call emotions. Emotions can throw a wrench into the best laid plans, and has a tendency to do so with a seemingly endless supply of fury, at times. That's where, I think, a meeting of the minds can be difficult.  I personally expect that people will give me whatever information they want me to have, when they want me to have it....and I am 100% okay with that.  By the same token though, I can understand how a person's emotions, feelings, beliefs, may supersede the desires of another. That's my long winded way f saying i know that some people can easily seem, feel, or even be hurt by another not sharing enough information...but I don't necessarily think that they are always in the right on that matter.  I don't personally take the stance of "people who omit certain information are doing so to be malicious". It is perfectly acceptable to both omit, and to share......it just might be difficult for some to find another who is on the same wavelength. It's doable, just difficult, for some. 

5 hours ago, Beth Macbain said:

Whichever side of the fence you are on, how should that best be conveyed to your partners or potential partners, or does it need to be conveyed at all?

I think everything needs to be conveyed, discussed, expressed, in due time. Potential partners is not the same thing as actual partners, and therefore during the potential phase, it very well may no be "due time". I do think that couples, or groups in the case of poly relationships, should discuss things with one another when, and where, most comfortable (or, in some cases...just take the leap, comfort be damned).

5 hours ago, Beth Macbain said:

We frequently see different versions of "SL is SL and RL is RL" or "I mix SL and RL" on people's profiles. Is this adequate?

For casual relationships with people, it might be more than adequate, while for more intimate (which, of course, does not always mean a sexual relationship) it might not be adequate enough.  Making connections with people can be hard, especially so for some people, which can offer further proof that a more guarded nature is necessary for those people. Walls often get put up both to hold things in, and keep things out, and I respect both of those things. Also, humans are subject to change their minds at the drop of a hat, in the blink of an eye, whenever it suits their fancy. So, those things being in a profile may not mean the same as they did the day they were typed. 

5 hours ago, Beth Macbain said:

How do you move forward when you see either of those things on someone's profile?

That depends on what you want out of the relationship with someone. If their rl details matter a lot to you, but they have no desire to share them....how far forward are you going to move? I have some friends in sl that I know barely anything in rl about, and I"m perfectly okay with that. Some of them know far more about my rl, and they're okay with that. In some cases we know equal amounts, in some we know varying amounts....as long as we're comfy, it's all good. :)

5 hours ago, Beth Macbain said:

Second Life is 16 going on 17 (I know you're singing that). Has it evolved into something different than it was, in terms of interpersonal, or intimate partner, relationships, since it was born? 

To be honest, I don't think this has changed, except to say that maybe there are more people in sl today. I can't say that the percentage of people more interested in interpersonal or intimate relationships has necessarily gone up. I think the human desire to connect with people will exist regardless of where those people are...at least for many people. For others that desire doesn't exist at all, anywhere they go, and that probably hasn't changed over the years either. Humans are humans, after all, and we're a pretty fickle and vastly varied species. 

5 hours ago, Beth Macbain said:

This also leads into the eternal SL debate - Is it a game or not? 

For me personally, no, it's not, it's a virtual platform, a universe in which I Am left to my own devices.....some I've made good use of, and some I've not. For others, it very much is a game, and I don't judge anyone, harshly or otherwise, based on their opinion of "what sl is".

5 hours ago, Beth Macbain said:

Who makes that decision or distinction? 

Everyone makes it for themselves, there is no debate to be had on that matter, imo. I know it's often debated anyway, but i find it a ridiculous reason to debate and a waste of grey matter functions too.

5 hours ago, Beth Macbain said:

How do you feel about SL promoting itself as a sort of dating site kind of thing?

I think sl doesn't get nearly enough promotion, anywhere, and the residents tend to do the bulk of promoting. I see no real reason NOT to promote sl as a dating site, because it very much can be. It can also be a a myriad of other things too. LL should grab hold of that myriad and make betterse of promotion in general...the residents already have a good handle on how to promote it, based on what it is to them. It's LL that doesn't seem to understand what sl is to residents here, or even their own company. 

5 hours ago, Beth Macbain said:

Are there spoken, or unspoken, overarching rules that every single person who logs in should know, and adhere to, in respect to intimate partner relationships?

The only rule that I think applies, or should, both spoken and unspoken, is that behind every avatar is a human being. That is both the beginning and end of that, because the very basics of how we should treat other human beings, how we should be treated, applies. Everything else that might be mentioned, is up to those in relationships, or wanting to be (regardless of the kind of relationship).

5 hours ago, Beth Macbain said:

Is the TOS giving tacit approval to lying, or is it there to cover their ass?

The TOS has always been and will always be, to cover LL's ass. It's actually kind of the point of all TOS (and their various variants). While many may say "but it's also to cover your's too", that's a falsehood, those things, like rules. are never really for protection, they aren't proactive, they are reactive, similar to laws....they merely dictate how things are handled when "X" is accomplished, done, said, whatever.....I don't believe they inherently promote lying, necessarily, but do they allow for it? Of course they do, all laws, rules, regulations, whatever have you, allow room for such. It's why they can't really be seen as proactive or preventative, and are merely reactive in nature. 

5 hours ago, Beth Macbain said:

At what point, if any, do real life social mores, conventions, norms, customs come into play, or do we leave them at the pixel door when we log in?

For this one i refer back to my spoken and unspoken rule...about us all being human beings. Now whether or not everyone wants to apply that, and thereby apply social norms, conventions and customs, is an individual choice....there is no universal answer. For me, those things come into play all the time, not just in sl, but life in general. I do my best to treat human beings like human beings, and try to treat them like i want to be treated. I may not always succeed (from others' point of view or even my own), but I make a valiant effort, as I believe most people probably do. 

 

5 hours ago, Beth Macbain said:

How do we all live together in harmony (hahahahahahahaha) when there are so many divergent views of what exactly SL is, and what it's for?

The same way we do life in general. Some days we're probably more successful than others, but, like myself, I think most make a valiant effort, no matter how often, or how terribly, we may stumble now and then. There are always going to be differing views on everything, and what sl is to people is absolutely no exception to that rule. A meeting of the minds doesn't have to mean 100% agreement on all facets, it merely means we do our best to come together somewhere in the middle of it all. 

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These are excellent questions and there are probably as many answers to them as there are users of SL.

  • Is it acceptable, or expected, for people who become involved in intimate partner relationships to reveal details regarding their real life such as gender, race, species, body shape (trying to cover the real life vampire body builders), etc. or is it accepted or expected that people will continue to move forward in relationships without sharing certain details, or that they will continue basing their relationship on an avatar that doesn't "match" their RL person? 

For me, either way is acceptable; I don't mind which way other people handle it, whether they want to reveal everything or nothing. I fall into a middle ground here; I will freely share some details but not others. I don't require others (even those with whom I'm in an intimate relationship) to share anything at all, but I have no objections if they choose to do so. Some people have expectations that everything will be shared, some others require nothing to be shared, and others like me fall somewhere inbetween.

  • Whichever side of the fence you are on, how should that best be conveyed to your partners or potential partners, or does it need to be conveyed at all?

I think expectations need to be discussed very early on, right at the start of a potential relationship, because if this most basic of opinions is contradictory between two people, a meaningful relationship can never survive. 

  • We frequently see different versions of "SL is SL and RL is RL" or "I mix SL and RL" on people's profiles. Is this adequate?

It's a good start, if people actually read profiles often enough, but not everyone does. So an actual conversation about each others' expectations is essential.

  • How do you move forward when you see either of those things on someone's profile?

Given that I am in that mid-way point and not bothered which side of the fence anyone else stands on, it makes no difference to me.

  • Second Life is 16 going on 17 (I know you're singing that). Has it evolved into something different than it was, in terms of interpersonal, or intimate partner, relationships, since it was born? 

Yes, I think so. I've been in SL for 13 out of those 17 years and since then I have seen an increased tendency towards mixing SL and RL. Separation of the two and refusal to discuss RL is something I tend mainly to see on profiles of people whose last name in SL is not "Resident". 

  • This also leads into the eternal SL debate - Is it a game or not? 

I don't think it ever was (although it does contain games), and I think it's even less so now than it was 13 or even 7 years ago.

  • Who makes that decision or distinction? 

It's a distinction that happens organically, by the attitudes and opinions of people who use it.

  • How do you feel about SL promoting itself as a sort of dating site kind of thing?

Uncomfortable. As a RL dating platform, SL looks perfect on the surface but is actually terrible, because of the widely differing attitudes to it. It's no wonder that the majority of dating relationships collapse in less than a month.

  • Are there spoken, or unspoken, overarching rules that every single person who logs in should know, and adhere to, in respect to intimate partner relationships?

Be nice to one another. Everyone in SL has a real person behind the avatar, whether they are roleplaying or not. They are still human and they can still be hurt.  

  • Is the TOS giving tacit approval to lying, or is it there to cover their ass?

It's solely there to cover their ass. A series of complex lawsuits would send Linden Lab to the grave and SL with it. I don't think it explicitly approves of lying, equally it doesn't explicitly approve of full disclosure either. It allows for both, as individual users see fit, and provided that an individual's behaviour complies with certain RL legal requirements. For example, portraying yourself as a person that you're not is not in itself illegal, but doing so in order to extort money from someone, is.

  • At what point, if any, do real life social mores, conventions, norms, customs come into play, or do we leave them at the pixel door when we log in?

I don't think it's even possible for any individual to leave their own social conventions and customs at the door, unless they are 100% focussed on roleplaying some other culture. And even then, their interpretation of that culture will be tinted by their own experience and upbringing. However, everyone needs to remember that there a vast number of SL users whose customs and cultures are not American culture and customs. Such cultures and customs may differ greatly from your own. As a British person, I often find, for example, that Americans are more open about themselves and they tend to expect the same openness from others, whereas we have certain topics that we will rarely if ever discuss, even with our closest friends. Religion and politics being two examples; the average American will talk all day and all night about what they believe in, both religiously and politically. Good luck finding many Brits who'll do the same. We're just raised to consider these topics as deeply personal things that are not suitable for sharing, and that leads to the typical stereotype of the reserved, aloof Brit. There isn't a single person in the world besides myself who knows what my exact religious beliefs are. Even my RL partner doesn't know them all.

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17 hours ago, LittleMe Jewell said:

Like anywhere else on the internet, the old adage of 'Buyer Beware' still applies.

Good one!

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21 hours ago, Beth Macbain said:
  • This also leads into the eternal SL debate - Is it a game real or not? 
  • Who makes that decision or distinction? 

 

To me it boils down to these 2 questions, including the correction I made.

If you decide these answers for yourself AND expect others to comply, you might need to reconsider your input to this supplied game-engine you partake in.

Edited by TDD123
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16 hours ago, Matty Luminos said:
  • Whichever side of the fence you are on, how should that best be conveyed to your partners or potential partners, or does it need to be conveyed at all?

I think expectations need to be discussed very early on, right at the start of a potential relationship, because if this most basic of opinions is contradictory between two people, a meaningful relationship can never survive. 

This makes the most sense to me.

I think that *most* SL relationships do not go RL for various reasons. I think if there are going to be any RL disclosure requirements, this needs to be conveyed openly right from the beginning, even before something romantic or intimate begins. It’s a very big deciding criteria on whether to even begin. If you enter a romantic/intimate relationship and engage someone’s feelings without giving them all the criteria you expect them to meet, then it can easily be seen by many as a bait and switch...to pull out a RL disclosure request (or any other hidden requirement) after the fact. If you are looking for certain important RL things, and they are relationship deal-breakers, shouldn’t you be up front about them from the start? IMO, that’s giving enough disclosure at the correct time so that people who don’t want to disclose, who don’t meet your criteria or don't want to take it RL can click away. No, it won’t prevent all deception, but it would prevent a good many people from starting a relationship where they only later discover that they don’t, won’t or can’t meet some of the criteria. Sadly, I don’t see this initial disclosure happening for many reasons. 

But in a place where we KNOW that avatars more often then not don’t actually ‘match’ the RL typist in one or more ways (or are often quite idealized even when they do), I really think SL is a bad place to go looking for RL love. Some of us found it anyway but instead of seeing those videos as aspirational, I definitely see them as a highlight reel of the very very few that have successfully done this thing. That’s why my partner and I didn’t volunteer for it. 

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18 hours ago, Matty Luminos said:
  • How do you feel about SL promoting itself as a sort of dating site kind of thing?

Uncomfortable. As a RL dating platform, SL looks perfect on the surface but is actually terrible, because of the widely differing attitudes to it. It's no wonder that the majority of dating relationships collapse in less than a month.

While i agree with all other points Matty made, the above one sticks personally out for me.

Uncomfortable, highly uncomfortable, would be my feeling when SL would be advertised and used as a REAL LIFE dating platform .. like match com or all the other platforms i have never and would never join. SL is my diversity, my playground, for when i have the time and want to relax without getting hooked up really in SL and for sure not in RL. I make this always clear from the start as i do not want to play with anyone feelings. If anyone is in here for relationship reasons only, we do not fit. I can be a good friend .. thats all, but even as a good friend, i will keep my distance. There have been too many instances where i thought the woman understood but as time went by, they started to try to get more from me. Maybe they lied (maybe to themselves?) that they would be fine but their feelings changed. I can't say. 

That's why i prefer to flirt or do whatever else only in Roleplay .. in RP Sims. 

It is a shame (at least for me) that so many people try to get those RL connections and forget, or are incapable, to enjoy their time in their 2nd Life. 

Edited by Conall DeCuir
damn typos
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31 minutes ago, Conall DeCuir said:

enjoy their time in their 2nd Life. 

This is the zinger for me. I get home from work, the gym or whatever, log on, and there are people from all over the world I'm very happy to see again. I count them as friends and sometimes even more.

To me SL is a Second Life life that I enjoy very much.

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1 hour ago, Conall DeCuir said:

While i agree with all other points Matty made, the above one sticks personally out for me.

Uncomfortable, highly uncomfortable, would be my feeling when SL would be advertised and used as a REAL LIFE dating platform .. like match com or all the other platforms i have never and would never join. SL is my diversity, my playground, for when i have the time and want to relax without getting hooked up really in SL and for sure not in RL. I make this always clear from the start as i do not want to play with anyone feelings. If anyone is in here for relationship reasons only, we do not fit. I can be a good friend .. thats all, but even as a good friend, i will keep my distance. There have been too many instances where i thought the woman understood but as time went by, they started to try to get more from me. Maybe they lied (maybe to themselves?) that they would be fine but their feelings changed. I can't say. 

That's why i prefer to flirt or do whatever else only in Roleplay .. in RP Sims. 

It is a shame (at least for me) that so many people try to get those RL connections and forget, or are incapable, to enjoy their time in their 2nd Life. 

 

20 minutes ago, HeathcliffMontague said:

This is the zinger for me. I get home from work, the gym or whatever, log on, and there are people from all over the world I'm very happy to see again. I count them as friends and sometimes even more.

To me SL is a Second Life life that I enjoy very much.

I'll have to jump into the same boat as these. They changed the name from "Linden World" to "Second Life" for a reason. To me, mixing Second Life and First Life means neither is really what they are supposed to be. I am in Second Life to have a second life. I already have a first life, so trying to mix them with one another creates caveats for both in my mind.

I don't put up an iron curtain wall between them, but there is a fuzzy "scrimmage line".

Edited by Alyona Su
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On 1/17/2020 at 4:28 PM, Beth Macbain said:

 

  • Is it acceptable, or expected, for people who become involved in intimate partner relationships to reveal details regarding their real life such as gender, race, species, body shape (trying to cover the real life vampire body builders), etc. or is it accepted or expected that people will continue to move forward in relationships without sharing certain details, or that they will continue basing their relationship on an avatar that doesn't "match" their RL person? 
  • Whichever side of the fence you are on, how should that best be conveyed to your partners or potential partners, or does it need to be conveyed at all?
  • We frequently see different versions of "SL is SL and RL is RL" or "I mix SL and RL" on people's profiles. Is this adequate?
  • How do you move forward when you see either of those things on someone's profile?
  • Second Life is 16 going on 17 (I know you're singing that). Has it evolved into something different than it was, in terms of interpersonal, or intimate partner, relationships, since it was born? 
  • This also leads into the eternal SL debate - Is it a game or not? 
  • Who makes that decision or distinction? 
  • How do you feel about SL promoting itself as a sort of dating site kind of thing?
  • Are there spoken, or unspoken, overarching rules that every single person who logs in should know, and adhere to, in respect to intimate partner relationships?
  • Is the TOS giving tacit approval to lying, or is it there to cover their ass?
  • At what point, if any, do real life social mores, conventions, norms, customs come into play, or do we leave them at the pixel door when we log in?
  • I expect nothing, really, but I find it acceptable to reveal those details - if the one revealing it choses to, and the one getting that information wants to have it. I think that has a lot to do with consent and the different reasons people are on SL, how they handle it, yada yada.  I'd absolutey not expect a person to continue a relationship when they find out the genders don't match. If they do, awesome! But ultimately, that's for the people involved to decide.
  • I think it should be conveyd. Ideally, as calm as possible, but the person revealing should be prepared for the other party to -rightfully- be hurt. The problem, I think, is the 'when'. Some people don't want to reveal that information right in the beginning, for their own reasons. I can understand that, however, I'd suggest in that case they still talk about it, maybe "Look, I'm not comfortable yet to share information about me yet, and if you really need to know and can't work with one possibility over the other, it may be best to halt the train right now!" You know what I mean? Or maybe asking "Hey, is knowing what gender I have/look like important to you?"  Demandding information, feeling entitled to get it, and putting pressure on people is what I'm against.
  • I, much like others, don't think people can sepperate between SL and RL in an absolute manner - if you fall in love here, those feelings aren't switched off the second you close SL. And likely, you think about the person in your day to day life. I view those disclaimers more of an indicator about their wishes to continue things happeneing in SL in RL as well.
    Personally, I don't really give any disclaimer about that, because I do that on a person to person basis, and chose what kind of information they get about me. I have no qualms to tell anyone my name, but nobody here has my excact adress, yet. I'd suggest simply talking about it.
  • I'd respect their wishes, and hope they return that favour. If I want a realtionship in the meatspace, and the other person has "I don't mix!" in their profile, chances are I'll not enter a slationship with them in the first place. I don't assume I'm able to change their mind, and I'm not trying to.
  • I think so, even just because everything is subject to change. Or rather: I never expected it to stay stationary in it's entiriety.
  • For me, it's a plattform I can use to do a multitude of things on.
  • Each person for themselves, I'd say. It highly depends on what you do on here, how you do it, stuff like that. That's why I find debates like that strange. There'll never be one uniform answer.
  • Not good, actually. I do not think most people will find happyness here. There are people who form lasting romantic relationships on here, and even move them to the outside world. And I am truly happy for them. But they are not the vast majoritiy. I know more people who's RL marriage failed due to sl than the other way  around, for example. The core problem in my book is that SL is GREAT at bringing people together. But absolutely lousey at keeping them thogeter. Temptations are everywhere. And yes, that's more a problem of the people involved than sl itself, but well, that's how it ist. Also, it's a question on what people fall in love with others in the first place. Because very, VERY few people are -personality wise- the same here as they are in rl. Even if they claim and honestly believe so themselves. It's minute differences, but they are there. We're not completely honest with who we are when meeting strangers in the real world either. Everyone wears masks of some kind. But in RL, you can see them better, they fall earlier. And due to that, people need to go a bit different into realtionships on here, I'd say. Not saying all are liars and betrayal is all you can expect here. But people need to take a little bit more time for things, take it even slower, examine things thrououghlly together. Every relationship is a work in progress by two or more people, and it's never really easy.
  • I'd say it should be to respect others?
  • A TOS is, in my opinion, always just to cover the companies asses. 
  • I think some will always be present, also because we're so used to them. Some people have a harder time to let them go, some not.
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1 hour ago, Sukubia Scarmon said:

Not good, actually.

I wholeheartly agree. I saw those social media posts from LL and while yes, this is an aspect within Second Life... The idea of people joining with the image of Second Life being a 3D dating portal, uncomfortably reminds me of all the newbies back in the day, joining because they read you can get rich here.

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I want to thank everyone for their answers and opinions. I appreciate how in depth many of you answered these questions and the thought you put into them. 😊

I don't really think there is any right or wrong here. The variety of answers shows just illustrates that we are a variety of people using the SL platform in a variety of ways. 

SL is a big world and I think there is room for all of us.

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i think that when people do get crossed up in social relationships then is usually because they are not listening carefully for what the other person is trying/wanting to say

what people are trying/wanting to say isn't always obvious. And in other cases people will tell us things by inference

example of this is when a person I have never met before on SL, asks me my A/S/L within minutes. I typically say 19 / Neko / Fyre Maven.  And they go I mean in RL ? And I go: So do I

i say 19 because, have to be at least 18 to live in Fyre Maven and I have had my Molly account for about a year now. 18 + 1 = 19

they go: Neko is not a gender, and I go: Yes it is.  (which always gives people a moment of pause)

by now the person having listened to what I am inferring, has worked out that my disclosing RL details to them at this moment is pretty much zero

and it gives them an opportunity at the earliest possible time to withdraw gracefully. Which most people who prefer RL-like social relationships on SL actually do. They say: Nice chatting to you. Take care! And I say the same back and we are done

anybody who after having this kind of introductory conversation with me and still stays in contact for a social purpose, knows that I am happy to relate to their inworld character, but that I am not interested in them (or want them interested in me) for a RL-like social purpose

 

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It's hard to truly comprehend just how varied people's approaches to RL and SL, and the divide (if any) between the two. Not only does every individual player/user have their own general approach to that divide, but they'll usually draw the line in a different place (to a greater or lesser extent) depending on who they are engaging with, and that in turn is not static but evolves and changes over time. Some people insist upon identical reciprocation of whatever that line is, others have more of a "you can share whatever you want but this is my line" approach, with countless variations between the two. It's a full spectrum like that of colour, and while we can just about define arbitrary groups (with fuzzy edges), that's about it.

Because of that, little notes in profiles should not be treated as gospel. They signal a direction of travel, rather than a comprehensive set of rigid regulations. You shouldn't expect any significant deviation from that, but be open to the possibility of change, or of unexpected nuance kicking in. Being able to handle that like an adult is key. That means not compromising on your own integrity while also not robbing other people of their own agency. Avoid making assumptions and cutting off contact over an assumed incompatibility, yet never budging on your own "red lines" simply to placate another. And, as always, communication is key. 

And as a side note, I detest the use of the word "lying" or "dishonest" to describe some of those who make a conscious decision to withhold elements of their personal information from those they engage with SL. It's the polar opposite of dishonesty. There is nothing even remotely deceptive about presenting a character/avatar in a virtual world to another character/avatar simply because that character/avatar varies from the physical you in arbitrarily-defined "unapproved" ways, and to claim otherwise (intentionally or unintentionally) is utterly ridiculous. Such an approach to language reveals just how narrow a mindset some people have, with a total disregard for any alternative angle that people might legitimately have.

(Note: I'm aware OP was approaching this from a detached, "let's discuss this" approach; so I'm mostly ranting into the wind at the great many other people that do fall into this category. I imagine all of us here have seen and heard this attitude countless times, over the months and years.)

I would however say that there is a minority trend that can be described as dishonest; those that invent an entire fake RL persona to couple with their SL persona. A person pretending to be a person pretending to be an avatar, as you will. Rather than drawing the line somewhere between SL and RL, they fabricate and offer up false RL information, while claiming it to be genuine... and I do think you'd be justified in feeling aggrieved if you're on the receiving end of that. Depending on how severe those fabrications are, of course; I frequently "smudge" what little RL info I give out, changing my age/vague location/job/etc a couple of degrees, and keeping most things intentionally vague, but I don't view that as the same thing as an outright invention. As with most things on this topic, mileage will vary and each to their own, and all that.

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MTV devoted a multi-season series to online liars.   SL invariably draws in catfish by the pound.  

I was never catfished (so far as I know) but one individual inserted himself into my SL & RL with Skype & cams & even relaying where he worked.  It was actually easy to verify those things as truths as he is rather predominant in his job speciality.   
Declarations that he wanted me to move to his country to be together & other things impacted my decision making at the when I was having issues w my RL relationship.  & yes they were aware of one another- 

There were tho little niggling weird issues over the years that would catch my attention & register vaguely that something wasn’t right.

As it would eventually be revealed to me by the person he took up with in SL during a period I wasn’t speaking to him (She believed she was bragging that she was with him *oh no honey you can have him*) ——he was married in RL.  

So many things clicked in my head at once- total Ah-ha moment.   Only voicing when it was good for him was huge.  Stupid excuses for why he couldn’t (I forgot my Bluetooth for example.)

Was I upset he was married in RL?  No.  Was I angry he lied for five years about it?  That I had asked over the years, did you find a date for the weekend.?  Or you need a GF to take on all those work trips- take an extra day to sight see.  Being told, no all I need is you....
As they say up north “You betcha.”   I was seeing red.  He knew my situation in RL, & yet he lied repeatedly about his own & wanting to have me with him- help finding me in a job in my field which sorta kinda had similar circles.

I am wholly responsible for my actions.  My online tryst.  That’s for me to work thru.

By no means does it mean I deserved the games he played with my head & heart for five years.  Knowing what he did of my RL circumstances.  

So.  Why did I share all that?  To relay my hard learned lesson.

Believe nothing you are told online that can impact your head, heart, wallet & general well being.  If someone makes strange excuses that don’t seem sensible, they’re probably telling porkies.    Don’t feel obligated to open up on the threat of someone moving on.   If they can’t accept what you offer, move on yourself.

Take online romance lightly unless or until you are both ready to meet face to face.

I don’t think it matters much that SL is advertising itself as an online love connection machine.  People hook up all over the internet.  That campaign is just advertisement.  Spreading out to appeal to as many potential money makers as possible.

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On 1/17/2020 at 9:59 PM, Tari Landar said:

race

There is no such thing as races within the specie homo sapiens.
Race is a social (and political) construct, not a biologial condition.

Just sayin.



 

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Much of what I might say has already been well covered by others, so I'd like to shift focus for a moment to point out that the video has a furry couple, a human couple, and a tinies couple so it addresses the issue of what you see on screen isn't what you'll see in real life. Perhaps a bit too subtly for human-in-both-lives people who aren't up on internet caution, but very good for those who feel like their fursona (or other gender avatar, or ....) is a better representation than their real life body. And yay for having a mature couple too :)

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For what it's worth, safety has to be the most important concern.  I know some who have taken a SL relationship into RL and been successful.  I've seen it turn just as toxic.

In SL relationships, there has to be trust, and anyone who has been around and dated in SL knows from their own or other's experiences, it can be difficult.  Partners just vanish, things can build for months, and end in minutes.

It really and simply boils down to treating others as you want to be treated.  You'll be hurt by it, but also rewarded by someone who sees your sincerity.

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