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This came up in another thread and instead of piggybacking off it I thought I'd start a new thread.  

SL is a place where you can be who you want to be right?  You can be a female and have a male avatar and vice versa or a dog or furry or a robot.  A couple people mentioned that as long as you don't get into a relationship with someone or lie to them about who you are in RL it's fine to play whomever you like.  My question is:

If you subscribe to the SL is SL and RL is RL and you don't voice, cam or send pics of yourself in RL or reveal anything about your RL then what does it matter what your online persona is?  Would it be morally wrong to make up a career, an age and description of who you are?  At what point does it become lying and not just "being someone else" Is there a disclaimer that you should be putting out or not? 

 

 

 

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I think whatever you are comfortable with is what you should do. Also no one should assume or expect anyone else to have the same standards here as themselves, that is just setting yourself up for dissapointment. I personally take everyone at thier word, but I won't get into stuations where I would be hurt if thier word turned out to be false.

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When I started in SL I created a female avarar with a female name: Elsa.
She made quickly friends on one of the hang out beaches. I was very careful not to flirt. After a few months we had a gang of regulars on that beach.
Meanwhile I thought myself how to build a bit and one day I showed of one of the houses I made.
One of the friends in the gang was impressed and asked me to show how to do it.

The next day we ended up in a sandbox and aligned and twisted prims for a few hours. Totally nothing remotely romantic happened. Just building.
But the days after that session I noticed a difference in the guys behavior. He had fallen in love with my puppet.
So I quickly told him that I was a straight RL guy, just  using a female SL puppet.

He was so shocked and disappointed, felt betrayed.
He angrily logged out and never logged in again.

That was the last time my female avatar appeared in public and I created this Sid avatar, that became my main.
The female  me I only used for business reasons (model, bank account) from that day.

Each avatar (except the bots) is a RL person in SL. And one can hurt their feelings even if totally unintended.
Playing Elsa learned me a lot about my more female side and about how brutal and disgusting some guys can be towards women.
It learned me to be very careful in SL with (other peoples) feelings as well. You never know how others experience their SL and what they expect from it.

 

Edited by Sid Nagy
Small adjustments in the text.
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3 minutes ago, Sam1 Bellisserian said:

If you subscribe to the SL is SL and RL is RL and you don't voice, cam or send pics of yourself in RL or reveal anything about your RL then what does it matter what your online persona is?

   No one can force you to share any RL information. It's up to whoever you may want to be with to either accept that or not - if you agree to there being absolutely no RL exchange, then I figure it shouldn't matter. Personally I wouldn't date anyone who does that though, I'm not interested in dating pixels, I'm interested in people - if, on the other end, someone doesn't want to share RL information in fear of me somehow using that to do anything nasty to them, well then they don't trust me enough that dating me should be a consideration.

   I absolutely do not subscribe to the 'SL is SL and RL is RL', I can do 'SL only relationships', but not without there being a level of RL friendship and trust.

7 minutes ago, Sam1 Bellisserian said:

Would it be morally wrong to make up a career, an age and description of who you are?

   Not just morally wrong, but potentially illegal. With SL primarily under California state law, there are laws against catfishing.

   But as far as morals go, yes, that's atrocious. 

20 minutes ago, Sam1 Bellisserian said:

At what point does it become lying and not just "being someone else" Is there a disclaimer that you should be putting out or not?

   Immediately. Being someone else in SL extends to your avatar and whether you RP it as anything. Claiming to be anything in RL that you are not is a lie. If you don't want to share the truth, it's better to share nothing. That said, lies, as with everything else in life, aren't binary - there are white lies and there is fraud, and everything in between. When I grew up I learned to always assume that the truth will out eventually, and that lying seldom is worth it.

   People in SL frequently lie about who and what they are, and people are frequently found out and called out for it, which almost inevitably leads to drama. 

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I have any pertinent information about myself in the 1st life tab. Female/married/slt+3.  Anything more than that is shared over time.  Nothing else is really relevant in SL.  That said, when I talk with someone, I talk with them as myself as I don't play a character or role.  I think of it as meeting someone in RL.  Do you give them all your personal info as soon as you meet?  I also never ask personal questions aside from time zone if it's not already in their profile.

Next month will make 12 years in SL. In all that time, I've only shared with a handful.of people who I am in RL.  I don't think it's wise to give out too much info but also feel there is no reason to lie.  

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if you subscribe to the SL is SL and RL is RL and you don't voice, cam or send pics of yourself in RL or reveal anything about your RL then what does it matter what your online persona is?  Would it be morally wrong to make up a career, an age and description of who you are?  At what point does it become lying and not just "being someone else" Is there a disclaimer that you should be putting out or not? 

I subscribe to the logic of sl is sl and rl is rl to a point, I do voice from time to time so I can't say I'm 100% on that boat.     There isn't much that I lie about, maybe a description of how I look just to protect myself a little.

I do believe that if you stick to that lie long enough you do eventually become who you are claiming to be RL which is where I think a disclaimer should be.

How I personally feel on the subject though is thing; If this is what you choose to go for then do it but be careful as this rabbit hole has the posibility of bleeding out into your RL and that can fundamentally change who you are.  Specially if you have a different moral compas when you log in.

 

Hope my awnser is easily understood, I read it over a few times and had someone else read it to make sure.

Edited by Mortified Wanderer
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24 minutes ago, Mortified Wanderer said:

I do believe that if you stick to that lie long enough you do eventually become who you are claiming to be RL which is where I think a disclaimer should be.

   Dang, I should have claimed to be a billionaire! 

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It's mystifying that people don't have more realistic expectations of a place where you literally don't know anything about anyone and cannot necessarily verify anything they tell you.  It was more understandable at the beginning of SL when people were a lot less internet savvy but I feel by now people should understand this aspect of the internet better.

Most of the genuine problems I see and read seem to be because one party had unreasonable expectations of another party that the said party had absolutely no say in or idea were being formed.  I say genuine because there will always be scammers, catfishers, stalkers and people who deliberately set out to mislead and lie to other people.  They would be no different in RL and they aren't genuine people.  The genuine people on both sides of these kinds of problems honestly seem at a loss to understand how they got into this problem or how their feelings got so out of control so quickly.

Edited by Gabriele Graves
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7 hours ago, Orwar said:

   No one can force you to share any RL information. It's up to whoever you may want to be with to either accept that or not - if you agree to there being absolutely no RL exchange, then I figure it shouldn't matter. Personally I wouldn't date anyone who does that though, I'm not interested in dating pixels, I'm interested in people - if, on the other end, someone doesn't want to share RL information in fear of me somehow using that to do anything nasty to them, well then they don't trust me enough that dating me should be a consideration.

   I absolutely do not subscribe to the 'SL is SL and RL is RL', I can do 'SL only relationships', but not without there being a level of RL friendship and trust.

   Not just morally wrong, but potentially illegal. With SL primarily under California state law, there are laws against catfishing.

   But as far as morals go, yes, that's atrocious. 

   Immediately. Being someone else in SL extends to your avatar and whether you RP it as anything. Claiming to be anything in RL that you are not is a lie. If you don't want to share the truth, it's better to share nothing. That said, lies, as with everything else in life, aren't binary - there are white lies and there is fraud, and everything in between. When I grew up I learned to always assume that the truth will out eventually, and that lying seldom is worth it.

   People in SL frequently lie about who and what they are, and people are frequently found out and called out for it, which almost inevitably leads to drama. 

I had become friends with an avatar who used to work as a hostess at a club.  We started joking around in local with each other and eventually she IM'd me and we began a friendship between girls.  We would talk about everything and anything that women talk about with another women.  We even discussed the pitfalls of having our periods.  This went on for about 4 months.  We explored places together and even went to nude clubs for fun and shared stories of who tried to pick us up.  She was A LOT of fun and I felt that I had finally made a real friend, a connection.  One day I come into the club and I get an IM and she's says "I have something I need to tell you"  At that point she proceeded to tell me she really was a man and brought in her male avatar into the club.  I was in total shock.  I guess he had gotten to like me and wanted to date me. We tried to date for about a week until I realized that he told me only because it was the quickest way to get his male avatar into my pants and I couldn't get past the lying.  I don't know if he uses his female avatar anymore. He is a popular DJ with his male avatar and is partnered now. I guess I never really even thought about it as catfishing...just lying. You mention it being illegal but what really can you do about it?

I typically do not subscribe to the SL is SL either but it's frustrating to talk to people and they say something about their weather and you simply ask "oh, what state are you from" and then they snap back "I don't share my RL"  OK, so not someone I will hang around. 

Recently I met someone at a club. It was about probably 10pm. We hit it off in IM and he asked me to dance. We spent a couple of hours talking and then he invited to show me his place. We cuddled and talked till like 4am and had plans to go sailing the next day. We talked the next day and he sent me a TP and then out of nowhere he then IM's me 2 minutes later and says "never mind. forget the whole thing. I just got told how many men you're juggling. So long." Then he blocked me and wouldn't respond.  Now I hardly know anyone in SL and certainly not someone that would know both of us or even saw us together AND I wasn't seeing other men so for whatever reason it was easier for him to just say that rather than to just say he'd changed his mind. 

It was also brought to my attention my "requirements" in my profile are unrealistic and that no man would be able to live up to them. So, I guess I figured...ok, my RL obviously isn't working out here so maybe create someone more interesting 

 

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7 minutes ago, Sam1 Bellisserian said:

It was also brought to my attention my "requirements" in my profile are unrealistic and that no man would be able to live up to them.

Unless you recently changed it, I don't see anything off putting to men in your profile.  What does confuse me is the contradiction in your 1st life tab.

Sammi is an avatar in second life....every once in awhile she may be allowed to speak of her creators RL.

When you log into SL, you've already mixed it with RL. I want to get to know a real person, not a fake avatar.

The underlined parts?  You might speak about RL but you want to speak with a real person yet Sammi  is an avatar?  I'm confused.

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20 minutes ago, Rowan Amore said:

Unless you recently changed it, I don't see anything off putting to men in your profile.  What does confuse me is the contradiction in your 1st life tab.

Sammi is an avatar in second life....every once in awhile she may be allowed to speak of her creators RL.

When you log into SL, you've already mixed it with RL. I want to get to know a real person, not a fake avatar.

The underlined parts?  You might speak about RL but you want to speak with a real person yet Sammi  is an avatar?  I'm confused.

Well yes...Sammi is not my real name. :) She is the name I gave the person representing me. It's not a contradiction.  I have no issue sharing details of my real life.  Perhaps I should change it to say "after we've gotten know each other" I see where that can be confusing. I really was just trying to be witty. Seems it didn't work. LOL

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25 minutes ago, Sam1 Bellisserian said:

It was also brought to my attention my "requirements" in my profile are unrealistic and that no man would be able to live up to them. So, I guess I figured...ok, my RL obviously isn't working out here so maybe create someone more interesting 

   Hm, not sure what part that is. Either way, I don't think that changing your requirements or pretending to be someone you're not is a good long-term solution. If you want to find someone worthwhile, the best thing to do is just be yourself and do the things you enjoy and just interact with the people you come across along the way - some people will be nice enough to befriend, others not so much, and occasionally you'll find someone who might just be right for you.

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This touches on a great point about profiles.  Over the years I have learned by trial and error that there really is no substitute for being very specific about what you want or don't want from your SL experience so that people can avoid making the wrong assumptions.  It isn't a panacea but I have found it helps immensely.
 

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2 hours ago, Sam1 Bellisserian said:

It was also brought to my attention my "requirements" in my profile are unrealistic and that no man would be able to live up to them. So, I guess I figured...ok, my RL obviously isn't working out here so maybe create someone more interesting

Someone put on a persona in order to get close to you and get into a relationship. It was manipulative and dishonest. You're asking if it's okay for you to do similar things to seem more interesting and get into relationships. It'll end badly, just as it did when someone did that to you.

You're not going to find a clear set of rules that state where the line is drawn. It's fuzzy and context matters. But if you know the truth coming out will make people feel you lied, rather than simply being private about your life, that's a good sign that you might want to rethink.

Now, rewriting your profile to be clearer about what you want is a different thing. You don't need to tell people that your real name is different and this is a username, in joke form or otherwise. People are more surprised when the reverse is true (Polenth really is my name). You can simply say that you're not going to share life details with strangers or something on those lines.

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I think online personas are quite common and can be harmless depending on the circumstances. It depends on what you're after and what you're trying to achieve. If you're just wanting to hang out in sl and keep things there without it ever coming into rl, then you can be whoever you want to be. But if you want to use your online persona to try and make people get close to you on a more intimate or rl level, then that's deceptive.

And also consider how the other person might feel. If both are on the same page and want the same things, then no one will get hurt. But if you're asking to get to know their rl self, while only letting them know your made-up self, then that'd be pretty unfair. With an online persona, there'll always be a limit to how close you can get to others.

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I put down my RL gender in my profile, and also am up front and honest right from the get go. I do not ever intend to deceive anyone. And I role play female so well I have to be careful, as I can fool 99% of anyone I meet (being married for 30 years IRL helps in terms of how to understand behaviours). Why I usually am female in SL is something I get into only with those I trust.

These last few days I am now playing my male avatar as much as my female anyway.

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Im female in SL and RL .. I made a male avatar about 13 yrs ago and he is still very Ruthesque. I haven't logged him on for a decade! My profile is very female. When I chat with a female avatar, I can alway tell if they are presenting the same gender. Its a vibe you can get from someone. I always know who Im chatting with. I do believe that SL and RL are very connected. Even if you say that you don't share RL, it eventually happens.  SL is a microcosm of our RL. It's an adventure that you shouldn't get all twisted up in. ☺️

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On 3/27/2021 at 7:33 PM, AdminGirl said:

I think online personas are quite common and can be harmless depending on the circumstances. It depends on what you're after and what you're trying to achieve. If you're just wanting to hang out in sl and keep things there without it ever coming into rl, then you can be whoever you want to be. But if you want to use your online persona to try and make people get close to you on a more intimate or rl level, then that's deceptive.

And also consider how the other person might feel. If both are on the same page and want the same things, then no one will get hurt. But if you're asking to get to know their rl self, while only letting them know your made-up self, then that'd be pretty unfair. With an online persona, there'll always be a limit to how close you can get to others.

^^^This

I would not do this to deceive anyone.  My main avatar really does want to find someone to get to know and form a relationship with in SL, NOT RL but Sammi is me in RL.

I did create an alt that's a bit superficial, a little more promiscuous and mysterious.  She definitely subscribes to the SL is SL and RL is RL. I am actually having a lot of fun with her and it's somehow less serious with her.  So I don't feel I would be deceiving anyone.  I'm a female in real life and my avatar is female.  I clearly say I'm not looking for anything RL and I would not lead anyone to believe I was.  

3 hours ago, Walelu Summerwind said:

Im female in SL and RL .. I made a male avatar about 13 yrs ago and he is still very Ruthesque. I haven't logged him on for a decade! My profile is very female. When I chat with a female avatar, I can alway tell if they are presenting the same gender. Its a vibe you can get from someone. I always know who Im chatting with. I do believe that SL and RL are very connected. Even if you say that you don't share RL, it eventually happens.  SL is a microcosm of our RL. It's an adventure that you shouldn't get all twisted up in. ☺️

I wish I could say that I have that talent too and maybe I do more so today than back then.. I wasn't expecting it so that was why it was a shock to me.  

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When I came into sl, I saw all of these avatars that all looked like they were 20 something.  I thought that no one would bother talking to me if they knew my rl age, so I lied and said that I was 23 (I was 54 and married).  I was able to voice, as I frequently get asked to 'speak to my mother' when I answer the phone in rl.  I had to lie about why I couldn't or wouldn't share photos.  Basically everything was a convoluted lie and it ate at me more and more.  I began to meet more and more people; more people to lie to.  I know others have no issue with being someone they aren't in sl, but I began to feel burdened by all the lies.  One day, I made a decision to 'come out' and finally told one of my closest friends the truth.  He was quiet for a while and then said, "Okay, so you are an older married woman.  It doesn't bother me." I was stunned.  I was expecting anger, and expected to be unfriended.  One by one, I told my friends the truth, and all of them except two accepted it, saying, "Hey, I like YOU...YOU ...the person BEHIND kari.'  The two who got angry at me, took a few years before they could forgive me.  

The feeling of people accepting me not only as an older woman, but someone who had been dishonest to each of them, was incredible and freeing.  Ever since then, I tell people the truth about me, readily.  Seems that nearly everyone I have met are okay with my age.    Do I see my avatar as a 64 year old woman in sl?  No, but then if you asked me how old I am INSIDE of my rl head, I would tell you that I'm 27 or 28!! 

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sometimes you want to experience something else in Sl, a different gender or a furry for example.  you can do that and thats up to you how much information you give out about yourself.    my avatar is obviously male, but I have a female avatar and no one knows.  its fun and the clothes are nice too.  I have fun with it. 

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People come to SL to experience they can't in their daily lives, whether it be lifestyle, or gender switch or even being another species. I don't think it's our place to judge how one chooses to represent themselves in world and how they feel about it. Sure sometimes(often) RL is also included in the full picture, but a lot of us hop in to experience a second life and not mix of both with our RL prevailing.

When I shared my personal info with a guy some time ago, the relationship turned toxic and I ended up being harassed on my personal channels by him which in terms caused me to delete almost all of my chat apps and web profiles and pushed me away from SL for over a year before coming back  to SL.

I recently noticed as well that people are awfully worried, anxious or just untrusting towards others RL info and expect them to reveal personal information about themselves, whether it's photos or something else. A very close friend of mine was so worry about mentioning his real gender to me that he begged me not to block him afterwards, so I told him whatever I'll tell to anyone who feels like they want to be someone else or experience something different.

"I don't care even if it's a golden retriever behind the screen or an iguana, it's the person who we talk and spend our time inworld that matters"

On 4/11/2021 at 5:03 AM, ballparkdogg said:

its fun and the clothes are nice too.  I have fun with it. 

Fun fact, there are nearly 7 times more female clothes listed on the market place than there male ones :D

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On 3/27/2021 at 11:34 PM, Sam1 Bellisserian said:

Well yes...Sammi is not my real name. :) She is the name I gave the person representing me. It's not a contradiction.  I have no issue sharing details of my real life.  Perhaps I should change it to say "after we've gotten know each other" I see where that can be confusing. I really was just trying to be witty. Seems it didn't work. LOL

I wouldn't mention the RL part at all in my profile.
To me, it is totally normal that once people get to know each other better than a night in a disco or a good neighbors chat, you simply start about the RL weather or so and see what happens.
If the other reacts with twisted nickers about RL, it's time to tiptoe out.
Heck, even people who say they never bring RL into SL in other threads, spread snippets of their RL here on the forums.

Keeping RL and SL separated is unnatural and harder than most think. And as long as you keep your RL blurred enough, it is totally okay to share bits and pieces IMHO.

Real friendships mean that you get to know each other, in the end you almost can read each others mind.
That is never going to work with ultimate RL stays in RL policies.
Some things from RL stay in RL, that is normal and that works.

I had a transgender girlfriend for more than 5 years, platonic because I'm pretty much asexual, we know an awful lot about each others RL, hobbies, sorrows, medical problems etc etc, but we never exchanged the real basic information like real name, address, phone numbers, email etc. So in that way RL stayed RL on purpose. We had a lot of quality time together.
Then we slowly grew apart, I stopped logging in for a while and now she never logs in any more as far as I know.

But to me it proves that you can keep RL in RL, with sharing a lot of it in SL.

 

Edited by Sid Nagy
Who doesn't love to edit?
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I'm pretty much of the same opinion as Sid. I'm happy to talk about my RL experiences and regularly do, but I don't give out anything that comes into the category of "personal data" except for the large city in which I live.  There are a handful of people who know when my birthday is but I have been purposefully inaccurate about my exact age because once your whole date of birth is out there, it's a risk factor for identity theft. 

But yes, it's perfectly possible (and natural) to be honest about your RL experiences and RL situation without giving away RL personal data. And that's what I do.

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