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Nacy Nightfire

Have you found the perfect ratio?

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When I started in SL, I quickly got sucked in and the possibilities seemed endless.  I spent waaaay to much time immersed in SL and eventually, like so many others, experienced "burn out"-  yet I suffer ghostly longing for what SL "was" to me..those were heady days.  Since SL has changed and matured, I'm resigned to the fact that those days will never be repeated exactly that way  even for newcomers. 

I've taken a break and discovered a certain amount of immersion IS necessary to maintain enough continuity with SL to make the experience worthwhile.  So now I pop in and out for a few minutes most days and haven't found the time or "energy" to start over.  I dread returning to a time where so many of my RL interests got set aside in favor of getting up the SL learning curve and carving out a virtual world out for myself.  Yet I miss it.

Has anyone any thoughts about what they see or have experienced as the ideal but minimum amount of time needed to be engaged in SL  on any basis...weekly, daily, etc. that allows one to create enough of a presence in SL to enjoy the experience and keep up with the changes yet maintain an active RL?

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Wow, do most of us go through this?

I was only thinking about how much my own Second Life had changed while I was taking a walk in real life today.  At times it felt just like I was on a runaway train, with a massive list of things I wanted to do.  I fulfilled all of what was on my to-do list, and much much more, but I definitely experienced "burnout". And I definitely still suffer "ghostly longings" - but not for the ghosted avatars that I used to obsessively deal with while SL had that particular stuck presence issue going on. I sometimes think it would be nice to be able to time travel back to a particular day, just for a couple of hours, but I wouldn't want the whole of it back again. 

But can you imagine being a brand newbie now? Would you want to start all over again, without the knowledge that you have now accrued? I certainly wouldn't.  It has been like a rite of passage in many respects. Discovering so many different aspects to Second Life, that I really had no clue about when I first downloaded the software.

When I read about sims that close and people getting overly sentimental about it, I just think about the sim owner, and how they have probably reached their natural end too. SL is as evolutionary as RL, only probably is accelerated.

I do still log in, but nowhere near as often as I used to, and no doubt the input on these forums will get less and less, but I will always be interested to see what issues are affecting people. Some things will undoubtedly never go away - the "love-cheating", mistrust, etc.

Or maybe one day another major project/"obsession" will take hold and I'll get sucked back in again. Who know? (Actually maybe someone else who adds to this thread will be able to shed light on that one.)

Edited: (Several times) because I just can't get the words I want to say to come out the way I want them to!!!

 

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I wonder if anyone has developed a graph or something that describes the typical user's experience with SL?  Something like:

1.  First steps, steep learning curve but hangs on out of persistence.

2.  A good grasp of the basics and begins to realize how large, diverse and incredible the world is.  Makes plenty of mistakes.

3.  Spends hours, if not days in SL, adds friends left and right.  Inventory quadruples with freebies.

4.  Takes first steps into being a premium member and buys first 512.  Starts making stuff and maybe selling it.

5.  Spends more, and more RL money, buys more land, house gets larger.

6.  Suddenly, the Great Deletion: removes all prims from land and lowers sale price until a random land bot comes and purchases it.

7.  Uninstalls SL and adamantly denies even setting foot in Second Life.  Rediscovers Real Life.

8.  Months or years later decides to come back to see if there's anything new.  Finds a tentative balance between SL and RL.  Maybe.

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I'm probably the totally wrong person to contribute here - but that's never stopped me before - so here I go.

Yes I too have been 'suffering' in SL for some time - not ready to leave yet finding it difficult to find anything to stay for. Like Marigold there are times in the past I would love to revisit - but I don't want to do the whole thing all over. As you said - spending that amount of time and neglecting RL that much is not just not possible anymore - I'm not prepared to do it. I've grown tired of the drama that inevitably comes if one gets involved with things in SL, but not being involved in anything means that there doesn't seem much point either.

So yesterday, after weeks of pondering, I made a decision. I have removed my build and belongings, put my land up for sale and I'm going to take a holiday from SL. Once everything is sorted I'm taking off until the end of August - a summer break.

During this time I hope to get back to running after an absence of almost 2 years due to ill health and injury - I look forward to getting fit again, fingers crossed. I also hope to watch a little more TV, read a few more books and even have a pint or three in a beer garden from time to time - weather permitting.

At the end of August, if I do come back to SL, I want to have some 'project' to immerse myself in, because otherwise I really don't see the point of being here/there. I have an idea or two and if I feel they are viable (in that they will keep my attention but not demand shedloads of time and energy) I shall give it a 'go'. 

Time will tell, I have a feeling most people experience these feelings after spending a while in SL - three and a half years is not bad - maybe I just deserve that holiday.

I'm looking forward to reading great posts on this, terrific thread Nacy :smileyhappy:

 

Edited for typos and damn format thing - hasn't fixed it I think.

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You might not have said it as perfectly as you hoped, but to my ear it was perfectly stated.

I often describe getting involved in SL as falling down the rabbit hole.  There's a real time warp...like you said "Institutions" in SL. Like the Greenies.  How many years could they have existed?  Does 10 years make an institution in RL?  Although I spent little time at the Greenies sim, I felt sadness at it being dissolved.  It a great big mindfuxx.

And then there's the pervasive "High School" role play that insinuates itself into everything.  Noobs (or freshmen) are devalued and belittled because they haven't graduated up to being Seniors in the institution.  Grown adults, who wouldn't dream of doing anything to offend in RL become pranksters and griefers, We are all  in a great big emotional drama like adolecents (not disparaging this, it's play and its fun!). 

Does this mean we also have to graduate, and those who stay on have been in some way "held back".  Of course they could become the "High School teachers" themselves, and have an excuse to stay forever.  Is the idea that for each person SL has an end..is this the elephant in the room that no one addresses?  I could play chess forever, on and off.  But some games I eventually grow out of.  I wonder sometimes if SL isn't just that sort of game.

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Mags,  it sounds like you have a great summer plan.  I'm glad your health is on the upswing.  If it wasn't raining here you'd have inspired me to take my dogs out and go running myself.  And I can attest to how nice it is to get back to reading.

To me, following the forums is a way to keep a "toe" in.  And I suspect alot of people are doing something similar.  My participation here has only been very recent, but I started in SL on 10/07.

I'm waiting to mesh to be fully introduced to the main grid, as SL has caused me to develop a great interest in 3D modeling as a hobby, where before SL I had no knowledge or interest in it.  So I'm appreciative of that.  I'm not interested in conducting a business in SL, but building for my own amusement might be the ticket.  Time will tell.

And perhaps the only way of "refreshing" oneself is to make a clean and complete break from it all, and not to exist on the fringes.

 

Edited to add: Janelle - great list!:matte-motes-smile:

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I'm inclined to take a break from forums too - it is a bit like being on the fringes. I'm trying to figure out twitter, with help from Suella (bless her). See - always new things to try :smileysurprised:

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Janelle Darkstone wrote: <snipped>

6.  Suddenly, the Great Deletion: removes all prims from land and lowers sale price until a random land bot comes and purchases it.

7.  Uninstalls SL and adamantly denies even setting foot in Second Life.  Rediscovers Real Life.

8.  Months or years later decides to come back to see if there's anything new.  Finds a tentative balance between SL and RL.  Maybe.

You've been following me around!!! :smileytongue:

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Mags Indigo wrote:


Janelle Darkstone wrote: <snipped>

6.  Suddenly, the Great Deletion: removes all prims from land and lowers sale price until a random land bot comes and purchases it.

7.  Uninstalls SL and adamantly denies even setting foot in Second Life.  Rediscovers Real Life.

8.  Months or years later decides to come back to see if there's anything new.  Finds a tentative balance between SL and RL.  Maybe.

You've been following me around!!! :smileytongue:

She does that ! :matte-motes-tongue:

Janelle is just very astute.

Her point number 6 gave me goosebumps.

And the whole list made me realise that I am, after all, just like the majority of people! (And I thought I was unique :matte-motes-sour:)

I'm not quite at number 7 yet. Or maybe I am, and have been in denial for over a year. Ohhh I just don't know!

Mags, would be interested what you think of Twitter - truly. I've got two Twitter accounts, two FBs, and I just can't get into it. It seems toooooo.... brain-deadening. To me. Or do I mean inane. I'll think about this. I'm off to cook bolognese. Catch up with this thread later.

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Mags Indigo wrote:

You've been following me around!!! :smileytongue:


I most definitely have not..!!  I, uh, just wear these dark sunglasses, trenchcoat and hold this newspaper when, I, um, stand around in the bushes.  Now go back to what you were doing.  :smileywink:

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Nacy Nightfire wrote:

You might not have said it as perfectly as you hoped, but to my ear it was perfectly stated.

I often describe getting involved in SL as falling down the rabbit hole.  There's a real time warp...like you said "Institutions" in SL. Like the Greenies.  How many years could they have existed?  Does 10 years make an institution in RL?  Although I spent little time at the Greenies sim, I felt sadness at it being dissolved.  It a great big mindfuxx.

And then there's the pervasive "High School" role play that insinuates itself into everything.  Noobs (or freshmen) are devalued and belittled because they haven't graduated up to being Seniors in the institution.  Grown adults, who wouldn't dream of doing anything to offend in RL become pranksters and griefers, We are all  in a great big emotional drama like adolecents (not disparaging this, it's play and its fun!). 

Does this mean we also have to graduate, and those who stay on have been in some way "held back".  Of course they could become the "High School teachers" themselves, and have an excuse to stay forever.  Is the idea that for each person SL has an end..is this the elephant in the room that no one addresses?  I could play chess forever, on and off.  But some games I eventually grow out of.  I wonder sometimes if SL isn't just that sort of game.

A great description - Alice in Wonderland it is very like. Logging in is really very like falling down a rabbit hole into who knows what adventure; the imagination is the limit.

"mindfuxx" yep

And as we all in this thread so far seem to be of the same SL "generation" - around 2007 born - maybe it is just the sort of game we grow out of. When we realise it IS a game (because to me it is, but in the early weeks, it really was a second life, compartmentalised from my real life, a place to escape to and play house with my buddies).

 

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:matte-motes-big-grin::matte-motes-silly:

Juveniles!!!!

janelle in action.jpg

Maybe the SL:RL ratio means being able to send a telepathic message to someone to login and shoot zombies for a few minutes! Wow, that was a blast!!!

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Marigold Devin wrote:

And the whole list made me realise that I am, after all, just like the majority of people! (And I thought I was unique :matte-motes-sour:)

I'm not quite at number 7 yet. Or maybe I am, and have been in denial for over a year. Ohhh I just don't know!

 

On these points I know what you mean. For ages I thought I was just a precious little flower having all these thoughts and second thoughts about SLife, SLUniverse, and everything. Then I start talking about it and it seems everyone else feels the same - so much for me being a unique presence on the grid!

To be honest I'm wondering what a couple of months away from SL will do - will I want to come back to SL or will it fade into insignificance as RL things crowd the space I set aside for it... I have no idea. My prem membership is paid till Sept - so I'll have to make some sort of decision I guess. I'm sort of hoping I'll come back with renewed interest tempered with the knowledge that SL (like all good things) needs to be savoured and not gorged.


Marigold Devin wrote:

Mags, would be interested what you think of Twitter - truly. I've got two Twitter accounts, two FBs, and I just can't get into it. It seems toooooo.... brain-deadening. To me. Or do I mean inane. I'll think about this. I'm off to cook bolognese. Catch up with this thread later.

I just started on Twitter and with help from Suella it's getting there, but I think it's patience and building up a group of people to follow that you actually find interesting or at least entertaining. I also began a 'RL' one, that might take longer to get going. I'm not sure to be honest if I'll stick with it, but I can see how it could help people from SL keep easily in contact without actually being online - almost like an Instant Messaging service. I'm hoping it might keep me a little in contact with SL without getting lured into grand debates in these forums. :smileyindifferent:

I had an RL Facebook account but deleted it last week. I got fed up of the way they run it. It's not so much that selling my info matters too much to me - I have little to hide and even less to spend - but it's the principle of the thing. Plus I hardly ever used it. I guess I'm hoping I may make more of an effort with Twatter... erm sorry... Twitter - but I have doubts. 

Enjoy the bolognese - it's bedtime and now I feel hungry :smileysad:

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Ratio? You mean, like offline chatting on forums to online or SL to RL? I am not sure ratio's come into play. There is no golden number, things are sort of flowing and changinig in life...but if you have a very regular schedule and so on that might work. I have non, my life is dull and then threats and no schedule seems possible to keep. So, just worry and threats to cause more worry. More lonliness and more worry of more pain...sort of a anti-motivator. I have no motivation to do anything in life, I just function. I can't sleep more easily but find it easy to sleep less. I find it easy to not eat, no do anything much but agonize and worry unless I am doing something. So ratios are not a thought, there is ismply no life for me anywhere. Just waiting for death all day.

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In RL I own and run a company, have two dogs and sometimes need to do some media stuff because I am in the public eye now and then.
Not to mention the organisations I started and run.

So pretty busy.

To me SL is entertainment and relaxation at the end of the day, after I've had a meal and done my work, I pop into SL to see how everyone is doing, have a virtual drink and talk to friends.

But because I'm a workaholic and don't have a family or a tv or mobile phone or any of that time demanding stuff, I wanted to do more then just enjoy myself in SL.

So I build a sim, started a community and also create stuff for my shops.

I guess I can't just do nothing.

I've been here for over two years now and never had that burn out and have not taken a break from SL either.

I spend at least 1 hour a day in SL, we have a daily Happy Hour in my little bar in 1920s Berlin and to me that is one of the few regular things in both my lives.

So I enjoy to have this one moment in my day where I am in my bar, chat to friends, have a laugh and relax.

I don't relax much in RL or in SL so this one hour a day that makes me sit down and not work is a good thing.

Of course when I work on a new project in RL I spend less time in SL and the other way around.

Sometimes the one hour I work in my bar is the only hour I spend in SL, sometimes when I'm building I can spend entire days there.

It gives me an outlet for my creativity and lets me be idealogical and educational, so no matter what I do in SL it is very rewarding.

If you have this local bar where you meet your friends every day for one hour like I do, one hour a day is more then enough.

If I didn't have my bar and this complete community and region I build and manage I probably wouldn't spend much time in SL at all.

I wouldn't know what to do or where to go if I couldn't build it myself.

Before I build my own sim I would visit the occasional vintage sim for a chat, listen to music and have a dance, but probably just a few hours a week.

I did visit a few roleplay sims and spend a few hours there but the themes of these sims didn't appeal to me so much I couldn't stay away.

And finally, if I didn't become part of this amazing community of neighbours, friends, fellow townspeople who you see daily, chat with, care about and feel part of, I wouldn't be spending much time here either.

So I didn't go trough some of the points mentioned earlier, not sure what the right balance is but it is either SL or darning stockings.

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Lol,  Jo -

Earlier I used a "High School" analogy for the second life experience.  This would make you the Superintendant of Schools!!

I wish I had your organizational skills, enthusiasm and energy.  Bottle it and I'll by a truckload  :matte-motes-smile:

There are many keys to your success that are within your post for me to ponder thru the rest of the day, but its clear your strategy of creating your world, including a pub that you can pop into and hang out is a big plus.  You are a model SL citizen, and I admire that.

Its beyond me to get that kind of project going.  But clearly its an excellent approach.

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No I haven't found the perfect anything yet.

Some sorcerers spent a lifetime searching for the recipe to turn dross into gold.

How did that work out for them?

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Yes, I have.  Since joining SL several years ago, I keep coming across articles and forums in which people create a dichotomy between SL and RL, and the reasons why they have taken a break from SL, such as improved RL or burnout.  I have responded like the following many times before.

This way of thinking about SL has and will continue to constrain its user growth.   For me, SL is a part of my RL, I log unto SL to hear different types of music that I would not otherwise hear.  I log unto SL to speak to people who I would not otherwise have the opportunity to speak to.  I log unto SL to participate in activities that add to and compliment my RL.  And last but not least, I log unto SL to create digital representations which highlight and educate about issues that are important to me.  I have fun in RL and SL, because SL is not separate from my RL, it is a part of it.  An important part too. 

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Well, there is probably no 'perfect' ratio since we're all different but you knew that. What is interesting is that even though we're all different we are, or many of us are, very similar in how we've approached SL. I'm kind of happy to see that there may be an evolution of my experience also. That doesn't overcome my disappointment at learning Mags is leaving, or at least leave of absencing. I'd really just met her. Not only that but she let me run a tab at her pub (which I see I can now ignore). But I figure Mags knows a lot better than I what's good for Mags.

The thing about being happy is quite personal. I was thinking over the weekend that there's a lot of discussion about how SL has changed and is changing and it occurred to me that it will almost certainly at some point go away. Most things do. This was not a happy thought for me, as I am by no means near the end of Janelle's list. I didn't like the idea. Now I'm thinking that perhaps I might grow out of SL before it goes away. That gives me optimism.

 

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Nacy Nightfire wrote: '... the ideal
but minimum
 amount of time needed...'

If you regard Second Life like it was ionizing radiation, trying to determine what would be 'the lowest possible dose'... have you considered avoiding it altogether? :smileytongue:

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