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Using Second Life the "wrong" way - the barrier between first and second life.


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This is my first time posting on the forum, I hope this is the right place for this topic.

I am debating whether I should quit SL - but its not because of some drama or being tired like others. I think that I was using SL wrong to begin with. Second Life serves as a world you can escape to, where you can be anything, let your fantasy run wild. Thats why its called Second Life after all, right? Well, thats thats the thing - I never had any interest in that.

I joined Second Life about 2 and a half years ago. I have very bad physical health, and even worse mental health, enough for me to be classified as disabled. Its very limiting - so limiting in fact that I pretty much can not do anythin in real life. I just work, buy some groceries on the way home, and thats about it. I can not handle being anywhere. I can not handle talking to people at all. Thats when I found Second Life, I was excited. I thought I would be able to use it as a replacement for my 1st life. I would be able to talk to people and make genuine friends.

And thats where I was wrong. Since thats not what SL is for. People use it to escape their first life. A lot of people are roleplaying or acting different, so you wont even get to know them. And even if you do meet someone you talk to regularly, they will likely still guard their first life, not letting you know anything, even if you know them for years. People just like to keep the 2 completely separated. And even though I have met some people who are more open, they still view it as separate worlds. I do not blame them though - its me who is wrong after all.

 

And since I view things this way, it makes people uncomfortable I guess. It makes people not want to talk to me. And I do not know if I am even enjoying being on SL at this point. Most days I just log in, spend a long time trying to find someone with the same view as me to talk to, just to end up not finding anyone and being in a worse mood.

I just wanted to share my thoughts on this.

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There is no way to use SL the wrong way... there are hundreds of ways.
One mixes rl more than others... some try to avoid it totally( impossibe in my opinion, they will always react with a way they learned rl)

Perhaps it's difficult to find steady friends for your way of approach, or perhaps possible you lean to much on them?..

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I just find it super hard to find people who see it the same way as I do. I would just like to log in and hang out with people, not spend weeks to maybe find one person like that.

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9 minutes ago, AlexJade64 said:

I just find it super hard to find people who see it the same way as I do. I would just like to log in and hang out with people, not spend weeks to maybe find one person like that.

Try London City.

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1 hour ago, AlexJade64 said:

It makes people not want to talk to me [...] I just log in, spend a long time trying to find someone with the same view as me to talk to [...]

So, some people dismiss you because you disagree with them on this... and you dismiss people who’d disagree with you on this.

Well, you know what they say about breaking the cycle: gotta do it yourself. Stop avoiding people just because they have a different view on how private their RL info is. I have friends on both sides of my own stance on it, and it couldn’t possibly bother me less. I don’t actually care one damn bit where are they from, what’s their RL age, gender, marital status, family numbers, jobs, etc.—and wouldn’t you know: most times, precisely the fact that I don’t fuss to know, is exactly why they end up feeling confident in telling me anyway. You’d be surprised how often not demanding something is the best way to end up getting it, whether you actually needed it or not 😉

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2 minutes ago, Ren Toxx said:

So, some people dismiss you because you disagree with them on this... and you dismiss people who’d disagree with you on this.

Well, you know what they say about breaking the cycle: gotta do it yourself. Stop avoiding people just because they have a different view on how private their RL info is. I have friends on both sides of my own stance on it, and it couldn’t possibly bother me less. I don’t actually care one damn bit where are they from, what’s their RL age, gender, marital status, family numbers, jobs, etc.—and wouldn’t you know: most times, precisely the fact that I don’t fuss to know, is exactly why they end up feeling confident in telling me anyway. You’d be surprised how often not demanding something is the best way to end up getting it, whether you actually needed it or not 😉

The problem is that I do not see the point in that. I do not see a point in trying to build a friendship with someone who views it differently. It wont be genuine.

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Expecting people to be open to share personal information from the get go is a little strange to me. Even in real life when you meet someone through mutual hobbies, interests or, hell, just walking dogs in the same park - there is a period of feeling other person up before anything significant could be shared. 

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Posted (edited)

Let me ask you something, Alex... the reason why you demand the others’ RL info is because you believe it’s germane to what kind of person they are? As in, if they’re from this or that country, age or gender, whether they have a numerous family or not, whether they work in a Walmart or an Aldi... would you then extract from it conclusions as to whether they’re nice people or not, whether they’re principled, loyal, intelligent, selfless, loving...?

In other words, would you judge them on those RL facts you insist they must disclose to you?

Edited by Ren Toxx
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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, AlexJade64 said:

The problem is that I do not see the point in that. I do not see a point in trying to build a friendship with someone who views it differently. It wont be genuine.

that might indeed be a/the problem ... friendships come, as playing SL, in many forms and levels. If only connecting to totally up to requirements people, you limit SL, friendships, your SL..and not least i'm affraid your life.
Go out!.. talk about the weather instead of worldwide problems....

Edited by Alwin Alcott
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3 hours ago, Littoralis said:

Expecting people to be open to share personal information from the get go is a little strange to me. Even in real life when you meet someone through mutual hobbies, interests or, hell, just walking dogs in the same park - there is a period of feeling other person up before anything significant could be shared. 

I am not saying they have to be open from the start, but most wont ever open. They want to keep it separate.

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3 hours ago, Ren Toxx said:

Let me ask you something, Alex... the reason why you demand the others’ RL info is because you believe it’s germane to what kind of person they are? As in, if they’re from this or that country, age or gender, whether they have a numerous family or not, whether they work in a Walmart or an Aldi... would you then extract from it conclusions as to whether they’re nice people or not, whether they’re principled, loyal, intelligent, selfless, loving...?

In other words, would you judge them on those RL facts you insist they must disclose to you?

No. But I still want to know. I want to know more things about them. I want to know whats going on in their first life too.

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3 hours ago, Alwin Alcott said:

that might indeed be a/the problem ... friendships come, as playing SL, in many forms and levels. If only connecting to totally up to requirements people, you limit SL, friendships, your SL..and not least i'm affraid your life.
Go out!.. talk about the weather instead of worldwide problems....

If I could go out, I would. If you meant it literally.

And while I can talk to people who see it differently, I would not enjoy that. It would feel pointless.

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46 minutes ago, AlexJade64 said:

 It would feel pointless.

why are you on SL ... is the question to ask yourself.
You clearly seek social interaction, but aren't seeing the point of it.. why?
 what do you have to offer others? whats your point?
confirmation?

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9 minutes ago, Alwin Alcott said:

why are you on SL ... is the question to ask yourself.
You clearly seek social interaction, but aren't seeing the point of it.. why?
 what do you have to offer others? whats your point?
confirmation?

When you have social interaction in real life, its different. People approach it differently. You can get more close to people, there is no artificial barrier to information about them. It feels more genuine. I do not seek just a social interaction. I seek friendship.

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22 minutes ago, AlexJade64 said:

 I do not seek just a social interaction. I seek friendship.

it starts with the first. After that comes deepening, or not, but less deep friends aren't better or worse than the others.
Making friends takes time, months to years, if you ditch upfront the ones with seemingly no match to your requirements you'll keep ending alone.
 

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16 minutes ago, Alwin Alcott said:

it starts with the first. After that comes deepening, or not, but less deep friends aren't better or worse than the others.
Making friends takes time, months to years, if you ditch upfront the ones with seemingly no match to your requirements you'll keep ending alone.
 

But most people explicitly say that SL is SL and RL is RL, that they are separated for them. When someone views it like that, there is no point even talking to them - it wont lead anywhere.

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4 minutes ago, AlexJade64 said:

 SL is SL and RL is RL,

for most that means : don't talk about personal things as family, where i live, what i do ... or more, or less... but you'll only find out when you really go for it, ánd are genuinely interested, don't put them in your petridish and measure them... and you'll see those statements are less strict on the go than your requirements, and expectations.

What's the difference with your doctor, local shop owners and many others you meet daily?.... not a lot... and still you keep going to them and most likely talk about things, perhaps very specific, but you won't get your vegetable seller to talk about his concerns about grandma ... or your doctor about the worries for his tax control ...

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1 hour ago, Alwin Alcott said:

for most that means : don't talk about personal things as family, where i live, what i do ... or more, or less... but you'll only find out when you really go for it, ánd are genuinely interested, don't put them in your petridish and measure them... and you'll see those statements are less strict on the go than your requirements, and expectations.

What's the difference with your doctor, local shop owners and many others you meet daily?.... not a lot... and still you keep going to them and most likely talk about things, perhaps very specific, but you won't get your vegetable seller to talk about his concerns about grandma ... or your doctor about the worries for his tax control

I do not talk to anyone in real life. Well, I take the statement at face value

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, AlexJade64 said:

But most people explicitly say that SL is SL and RL is RL, that they are separated for them. When someone views it like that, there is no point even talking to them - it wont lead anywhere.

Hi Alex,

I strongly disagree with this.

Somebody who wants to keep RL out of SL or someone who does not want to share RL information is not a different person in SL as he/she is in RL, unless that person is purely there for roleplay (and even those are going OOC sometimes).

They have not chosen to be somebody else, they have simply chosen to be somewhere else when logging into SL. Those make friends as well. They have at least one thing in common: Their passion for Second Life. Isn't that a good start?

In many occasions you actually meet an strictly SL person who is more him/herself in SL that he/she is in RL!

Ever heard the saying,
 

Quote

"Give somebody  a mask and he will show you his true face"?

You do not need to know anything about a persons RL in order to like that person, trust that person, spend time with that person, share interests with that person, share thoughts and feelings with that person. All off which which are important elements of friendship and none of it requires RL information.

Give it a try and take those at face value.

However,

I have met people in SL who do have no issues with sharing RL information once you get to know them better and once a certain level of trust is established.
Even I have 4 friends in SL which know who I am in RL, full name, age, telephone, job, company name, Facebook profile… the lot (not counting any of my ALTS).



 

Edited by Caroline Takeda
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7 hours ago, AlexJade64 said:

I just find it super hard to find people who see it the same way as I do. I would just like to log in and hang out with people, not spend weeks to maybe find one person like that.

Why do they have to, just make the most of every moment, talk to people, accept what they have to offer, and people will accept you as you are. When you are setting requirements on who you want to be friends with, you set up barriers. Break down those barriers and you may find something even better that you had hoped for.

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9 hours ago, AlexJade64 said:

I would be able to talk to people and make genuine friends.

And thats where I was wrong. Since thats not what SL is for. People use it to escape their first life. A lot of people are roleplaying or acting different, so you wont even get to know them. And even if you do meet someone you talk to regularly, they will likely still guard their first life, not letting you know anything, even if you know them for years. 

Hi Alex, thanks for sharing your viewpoint. To start out, there is no right or wrong way to go about your approach to SL. You are correct that some people use it an extension of themselves while others enjoy the escape, and some find themselves in-between. 

I know you mentioned wanting to get to know someone in first life, as it feels like a stronger authentic connection to you. While there is nothing wrong with that, how in-depth are you wanting to know someone's details? Are you comfortable with vague answers like, "Oh I live in the Western US". Or do you prefer to know which state? (See what I mean?). I think you need to be a little more descriptive about where you draw the line about someone being guarded vs open.

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Posted (edited)

As others have pointed out, there really is no right way to use SL. And as Miranda just above asked, what level of RL detail are you seeking from people. Some of us have had very bad experiences when we naively gave out too much RL info.

I've been off and on 11 years and had to abandon SL (and Instagram and FB) 3+ years ago for a few years because a SL stalker found the real me and then harassed/stalked me in RL by giving out intimate and graphic details about my SL kinks (some of which are very taboo) and occupation here (escort/stripper) to my RL family, potential employers, and friends. And people still ask me why I don't share RL info, voice or cam now? Wow. 

So, for me, I'm scared to share much. I tell people my RL age and sex (30F) and what country I live in and time zone, but that's it. I started sharing a bit more recently and got scared again so have retreated and am trying to stick to a SL/RL separate policy. Now, that does not mean my RL feeling and emotions aren't infused in my interactions with people in SL, but expecting me to share my life details with strangers online is the first rule of getting emotionally hurt or worse. I behave in SL like I do in RL. I'm polite, quiet, honest, a bit flirty, university Masters-level educated, and a pretty chill girl to hang with. So while SL/RL are separate, this is still me in SL. The only change is how amped up some of my kinks are in SL that I can explore safely. So for me, given my past errors of judgement here, that does mean keeping a barrier up about significant and/or identifying details.

I think many people who say SL is SL, and RL is RL are being a bit disingenuous, because your RL personality usually seeps through in how you behave, unless you are purely here in SL to RP a character. Not sure what else to add.

Oh, what Bili said. Maybe talk to people who you are different from. Everyone is different in RL, same goes for SL. You might find more in common than you think.

:)

PS. And to the guys who need to "verify" a girl who won't voice or cam? We actually don't want to hang out with guys who are that insecure anyway.

Edited by Sapphire Dakota
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10 hours ago, AlexJade64 said:

This is my first time posting on the forum, I hope this is the right place for this topic.

I am debating whether I should quit SL - but its not because of some drama or being tired like others. I think that I was using SL wrong to begin with. Second Life serves as a world you can escape to, where you can be anything, let your fantasy run wild. Thats why its called Second Life after all, right? Well, thats thats the thing - I never had any interest in that.

I joined Second Life about 2 and a half years ago. I have very bad physical health, and even worse mental health, enough for me to be classified as disabled. Its very limiting - so limiting in fact that I pretty much can not do anythin in real life. I just work, buy some groceries on the way home, and thats about it. I can not handle being anywhere. I can not handle talking to people at all. Thats when I found Second Life, I was excited. I thought I would be able to use it as a replacement for my 1st life. I would be able to talk to people and make genuine friends.

And thats where I was wrong. Since thats not what SL is for. People use it to escape their first life. A lot of people are roleplaying or acting different, so you wont even get to know them. And even if you do meet someone you talk to regularly, they will likely still guard their first life, not letting you know anything, even if you know them for years. People just like to keep the 2 completely separated. And even though I have met some people who are more open, they still view it as separate worlds. I do not blame them though - its me who is wrong after all.

 

And since I view things this way, it makes people uncomfortable I guess. It makes people not want to talk to me. And I do not know if I am even enjoying being on SL at this point. Most days I just log in, spend a long time trying to find someone with the same view as me to talk to, just to end up not finding anyone and being in a worse mood.

I just wanted to share my thoughts on this.

You're not wrong, but you're not right either.

There are a LOT of people in SL who view their SL avatar as very much themselves, they are not roleplaying or escaping, they are using SL in exactly the same way you do. In fact I believe that category is actually larger now than the category of people who use it as roleplay/escape. (That wasn't the case in the early years).

Others, like myself, are somewhere inbetween.

A big part of the reason why people are slow to open up about RL is that they don't want to get into a RL romantic or sexual relationship.  It's offputting and makes people suspect an ulterior motive when the first thing someone wants to know about you is your RL gender and age. So you may have run up against some of that.

I strongly recommend you pay a visit to Virtual Ability; it is a community set up to support people in SL who live with disabilities of all kinds. They are a wonderful and friendly group. I made several friends there. If you reach out to them they can point you towards some social or support groups that suit your needs. They are all "RL people" (even the ones who have dragons or squirrels as their avatar).

Don't give up just yet.

 

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1 hour ago, BiliEyelash said:

Why do they have to, just make the most of every moment, talk to people, accept what they have to offer, and people will accept you as you are. When you are setting requirements on who you want to be friends with, you set up barriers. Break down those barriers and you may find something even better that you had hoped for.

If I get rid of those expectations, then what I will be getting is not what I am looking for.

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1 hour ago, MirandaBowers said:

Hi Alex, thanks for sharing your viewpoint. To start out, there is no right or wrong way to go about your approach to SL. You are correct that some people use it an extension of themselves while others enjoy the escape, and some find themselves in-between. 

I know you mentioned wanting to get to know someone in first life, as it feels like a stronger authentic connection to you. While there is nothing wrong with that, how in-depth are you wanting to know someone's details? Are you comfortable with vague answers like, "Oh I live in the Western US". Or do you prefer to know which state? (See what I mean?). I think you need to be a little more descriptive about where you draw the line about someone being guarded vs open.

Well, the level of detail depends on how long I have known them for. So I would like to know some details eventually, yea. Being vague in the beginning is not that much of a problem, but there are people I have known for years on SL now, and they still wont tell me or anyone absolutely anything.

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