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Nacy Nightfire

What's your reaction to the disappearance of a SL friend

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I'm curious if there is a wide range of reactions and rationalizations when a good friend in SL disappears:

- Are you sad, but jump to the conclusion they are busy in RL and wish them well?

- Are you devastated and feel betrayed?

- Do you feel the relationship you built was overblown on your side and the other person, by not saying goodbye didn't care at all?

- Do you conclude something terrible happened to them and they, perhaps, died as a result?

- Do you laugh and congratulate  them in your head for breaking their SL addiction?

- Do you feel a sense of loneliness and despair?

- Do you wish they handed over their transferable inventory before they left?

 

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The first point I guess. For me, SL is an online game where people tend to get bored and leave after a while. I've learned my lesson in other MMOs and no longer get emotionally attached to online acquaintances or their RP personas. I don't know these people in RL and will never meet them, so they don't owe me anything.

I'd find it rather strange if somebody offered me an explanation why they're leaving SL, that always reeks of drama. When I grow tired of SL some day, I'll pack up my things and leave without bothering to write what comes down to a virtual suicide note.

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i don't invest that deep into people online anymore like when i was a little younger than i am now..i was pretty blind to a lot of things when i got here..

now if someone doesn't show up and doesn't say they were leaving..i just figure they had their reasons..

i don't get happy or sad for them..i just figure they are doing what they have to do..it's not an easy world and anything can happen..

when they come back if they do..i try to be the same as i am always and not skip a beat..i don't pry or dig or think they were up to something..

i just figure life gave them a turn they had to take and maybe sl wasn't a part of it..

i leave all the time without saying bye to everyone..every summer..

i don't want to know why someone is leaving..just go and come back..or don't if you feel you can't..but don't send a line of crap to me trying to get attention because  all i'll do is let it go in one ear and out the other and be in IM's with someone else while you are typing away..

i just don't want too much information about peoples RL's  in here..i sure don't want  to hear every problem why they have to leave again..just fade out like i am going to do when i leave it for the last time..

nobody will morn me leaving ..because by the time they realise i'm gone it would have been a long while after i left LOL

 

 

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If it is a good friend I will have additional avenues of contact, be it E Mail, other Internet things and in some cases phone.

So If they fell completely off the face of the Earth with no explanation I would be greatly concerned.

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In most cases, I would figure RL overcame SL and I do wish them the best.

But if it was my partner/lover (we've been together for more than 2 years), I certainly would be devastated, although probably recovering after some time. Pixels can't match reality, that's a fact.

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Just like RL people come and go. If they were a close friend I would hope they would have said something befoe they left but sometime RL gets in the way and you just dont have time to log in.

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If they were a close friend, I would be concerned (actually experiencing this now btw). I find too many SL people to be uncaring...I think because it happens a lot that people disappear, they eventually grow immune to it. Some people exchange RL contact info so if they don't log on, at least they  have an idea of what is happening. But most of the time you don't really think it is that serious until you find they don't come on.

If they were a friend, I would probably wonder what happened, and if they came back would be like hey long time no see - what have you been up to? And if they were an acquaintance, I would probably be apathetic like many people on SL.

I wonder if the same people who are nonchalant when someone doesn't log on also consider SL a "game"? Because I know anytime someone mention SL and game in the same sentence, people are really sensitive about it.

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Nacy Nightfire wrote:

I'm curious if there is a wide range of reactions and rationalizations when a good friend in SL disappears:

- Are you sad, but jump to the conclusion they are busy in RL and wish them well?

- Are you devastated and feel betrayed?

- Do you feel the relationship you built was overblown on your side and the other person, by not saying goodbye didn't care at all?

- Do you conclude something terrible happened to them and they, perhaps, died as a result?

- Do you laugh and congratulate  them in your head for breaking their SL addiction?

- Do you feel a sense of loneliness and despair?

- Do you wish they handed over their transferable inventory before they left?

 

It happened to me a few times with people who were close.

The first time it was my closest friend in SL at the time, but she did at least tell everyone she was leaving. She'd got disillusioned with all the overt sex in SL, so fair enough. I still miss hanging out even after all this time. We're still tentatively in touch via Facebook, but we no longer have much in common without shared times in SL.

The second was someone who had to leave for RL family issues. She vanished with just a note and didn't answer emails for months. That hurt a bit, considering she was someone I'd been in touch with in RL and even met face-to-face. Eventually she got back in touch and we made up, and she even drops into SL from time to time.

The third was a Mistress who just vanished after a couple of months. We used to be in touch by email even when she couldn't get into SL, but she totally cut off contact. I sent a few notecards, IMs and emails letting her know that I forgave her, but I'd like to know that she was alright. Not one reply. It's possible something terrible happened to her and I'll never know, but it's more likely I thought more of the relationship than she did.

Conclusion: from my point of view, it's better if you can tell people that you'll be leaving. Whatever the reason for going, people will likely think better of you if they have some closure.

 

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This is something I had to face very recently.

I became friends with a young lady in SL who was half my age. This was not in any way a romantic relationship. I considered her my kid sister, something I do not have in RL, and I jokingly told her I was adopting her in SL. We spent a lot of time hanging out and chatting, and over time I came to love her like a RL sister.

She had serious health issues, and explained that she was born with a heart condition that left her heart severely weakened. She was in the hospital multiple times over the past year, and the doctors told her she would likely be dead within a year because of her weakened heart. I struggled with the terrible news, but she never felt sorry for herself, and always lifted me up when I was down.

The last time I saw her in SL was in March. After a month or two passed, I figured she was busy with work in RL. I wondered when she would log on again. I did not want to consider that I may never see her again. I recently learned that she had died a couple of months ago.

I tend to consider online friends the same as RL friends, and maybe some will find that foolish, but that's just how I am. When I learned that my friend had died, I grieved for her just as deeply as I would for a close friend or family member in RL. I was and am heartbroken at the loss. My friend was only 24.

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Nacy Nightfire wrote:

I'm curious if there is a wide range of reactions and rationalizations when a good friend in SL disappears:

- Are you sad, but jump to the conclusion they are busy in RL and wish them well?

- Are you devastated and feel betrayed?

- Do you feel the relationship you built was overblown on your side and the other person, by not saying goodbye didn't care at all?

- Do you conclude something terrible happened to them and they, perhaps, died as a result?

- Do you laugh and congratulate  them in your head for breaking their SL addiction?

- Do you feel a sense of loneliness and despair?

- Do you wish they handed over their transferable inventory before they left?

 

Hi Nacy!  Yes, people come and go.  Things happen much faster in SL then in RL.  I often wonder what happened to friends long gone.  I do wonder and hope that nothing bad happened to them.  Seems some just don't fit this wacky world of SL.  I suppose it just was not for them, and they move on!

 

Peace!

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Many people I have a lot of contact with in SL, I am in contact with outside of SL.

But there are people who do just disappear with no message for a long time, some do eventually return and some don't.  If it is not someone I am close to, I don't mourn their exit, I assume they are busy RL or their PC died (it can take a long time to save up for a new one).

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I've had a few friends over my time in SL just disappear.  It never fails to affect me.  I genuinely like the people that I befriend here whether or not I know their RL name and when someone just disappears I can't help but wonder if something happened to them.  One time it was someone that I was very close to that just left.  It deeply troubled me.  Did something happen to them?  Was it something that I did?  Were they ok?

 

To this day I still do not know.

 

I understand if someone does not want to go into all of the details or offer an explanation but an "I'm outta here." IM or notecard is something that I really appreciate.  At the very least I think someone should, if they care about anyone's feelings here in SL, change their profile on the way out.  It only takes a few seconds.

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After 5 years, I have had many friends come and go.  One leaves and I make new ones.  It's sort of the way games work.  However, I have stayed very close to some who aren't in SL but we have RL contact information.  Realize that only 15% of the people here stay after 12 months. 

Take that number then erode your friendship attrition and after 5 years, you end up with 0.05% of your friends left.  I consider myself fortunate as I still have a lot of friends who where here 4-5 years ago.

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I find it very odd that among your reaction/responses - "worried" wasn't mentioned...I have often worried about friends that seemed to suddenly disappear - but never assumed they died,  #4 seems unnecessarily dramatic. (unless like others stated, they knew their friends were gravely ill).

Good friends continue to communicate - or let you know that RL is overwhelming sl - or they suddenly reappear with a reasonable (or not so) explanation.  I don't judge people on their comings and goings in sl and I hope not to be judged by my friends either (my time in-world has been extremely limited for many months).  Since I am not in world that often anymore I don't notice if someone disappears, I sometimes find myself off a friend's list and I don't question that, I haven't been a very good sl friend in a long time.

Of course we are all sad, lonely and maybe a little jealous when RL takes our friends away, but I have never "de-friended" someone for that - and sometimes they reappear to my delight.  Oh - and some have passed inventory/land to me upon their dramatic departures from sl... It's all part of the game/slife... to each their own slife I say

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Ishtara Rothschild wrote:

The first point I guess. For me, SL is an online game where people tend to get bored and leave after a while. I've learned my lesson in other MMOs and no longer get emotionally attached to online acquaintances or their RP personas. I don't know these people in RL and will never meet them, so they don't owe me anything.

I'd find it rather strange if somebody offered me an explanation why they're leaving SL, that always reeks of drama. When I grow tired of SL some day, I'll pack up my things and leave without bothering to write what comes down to a virtual suicide note.

/me laughs and agrees for the most part... there are some people I have become close to both in and outside of sl, and I know why they are no longer in SL... but those big, drama "IM LEAVING SL FOREVER/BEG ME TO STAY" IM's leave me cold... I don't think I will leave sl completely but its just not as fun as it used to be I think (I put a note on my profile that I am not around much)... That suffices.

 

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- Are you sad, but jump to the conclusion they are busy in RL and wish them well? Of the choices presented I would select sad about the loss. A close friend-- I would experience grief, but then I would fantasize she was busy in RL and hope the busy was adding joy to her life. I imagine she saw the light; it was shining bright and she whispered you will be OK now, I am going. I listen to the wind speak and I say enjoy.

 

Nimh

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It is true that people come and go from SL. The reason for this are numerous.

I know examples of people who simply took breaks for a certain length of time from SL. I have done this myself, though not usually longer than a few months at a time.

A common cause of becoming occupied and not having time for SL is because of RL obligations. It is understandable, because RL obligations tend to trump SL ones.

I know examples of people who vanish from SL completely, perhaps never to return again.

Sometimes people forget, but there is a wealth of other places on the internet to interact with people- including other MMORPGs, chat rooms, websites, and forums. Sometimes people move on from SL and go elsewhere.

There are also cases where people remain on SL, but change accounts without telling people. I've spoken to a few people recently who had accounts for numbers of years but then because of various reasons, changed accounts. A common example that people cite is they were being harassed or had some kind of drama (often relationship related or otherwise) on their old account.

I also know people who just extremely prolific in creaitng Alt accounts, and while I know them on one or two accounts, I do not know them on all accounts, so what seemed like a long absence was really just them only being active on those other accounts

I believe there is another thread that covers this topic, but there are cases where someone in an SL Relationship gets cold feet, and they ditch their account in order to get away from that person, rather than break up with them. It's kind of sad, really.

And then there is the last category of people... Which is why it is wrong to make negative assumptions about the other person (ie: they rudely left SL without so much as goodbye), etc... There are cases, and it has happened to me, where a person goes MIA for a while, or perhaps indefinitely.

The cause of this is invariably a serious accident, crisis, emergency, or death.

In my case, one of the people I talk to daily and consider a best friend on SL was in a horrible accident and was not on SL for months, but managed to live. Some of my other friends had that person's RL contact information and managed to get in touch with a relative, so we found out a few weeks early what was the matter. It had been immediately suspicious that my friend had not showed up after a week or two, since they were always online on a daily basis prior, we spoke daily, and they said nothing before vanishing.

Had the dice been rolled a bit differently, they may not have made it back to SL ever again. This can happen to even the youngest, healthiest, fittest person. It is, however, not a common thing on a daily basis for people to be dropping off like flies... but if you know the person has health issues, it isn't completely unexpected.

For these reasons, I never make assumptions about people who have gone missing. I just wait to see what happened, and if they are a close friend and the disappearance is unlike their normal behaviour, I may go so far as to try to contact someone who knows them.

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Usually, I just assume they got busy and dont have time for SL anymore.

I have had friends with personal illnesses or issues that gave me concern for their safety, but was fortunate in that someone else in SL had the ability to reach them out of world and let their friends know they were ok...

If it was someone very close, I'd just be worried, I think.  I dont think betrayal is a word I'd choose, but I'd definitely worry...

 

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I had a few friends that left sl one Friend Named Micha told everybody last year she was quitting sl for good she got a rl boyfriend and moving on with her life and my other lana Left for good but she comes on ever once in a great while and Wynter Snowpaw who took the time and taught me alot in sl when i was new she just never came back on.. now do i feel sad well no they had there reasons for leaving... i often think about them like what are they up too are they alright..that kinda things but when im online i tend to stick with my small group of friends and build or mod.. but i would be sad now if Sena or gen just upped and left

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I had an SL friend a long time ago who was rather wild and prone to speaking her mind or playing pranks on unsuspecting people.  When she disappeared from SL, I assumed she'd been banned!

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If me and the person were just friends, then i wouldnt feel so much about them. I would say damn, that sucks...but then i would just move on with it. Friends come and go in life sooner or later. It'd be nice to end things on a positive note though but eh.

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i've had some issues with my mistress with this considering she's a gentle soul with a lot of shit on her mind/shoulders. she's considered leaving a few times, but friends/SL family of hers persuade her to stay for the most part. she tends to disappear for a few days from time to time (probably playing sims 3 or l4d2 with friends.)

 

but i personally have never iexperienced someone leaving without a note or some sort of reason for them saying something like "real life is getting really bad right now i need some time off" that's usually the last i hear from them. i'm not on a huge amount myself these days. i take second life by spells. (mostly because none of my friends are on when i'm on and i get bored/tired of being hounded for sex if i hang out in one of my usual places to be found on the grid)

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The first point I guess. For me, SL is an online game where people tend to get bored and leave after a while. I've learned my lesson in other MMOs and no longer get emotionally attached to online acquaintances or their RP personas. I don't know these people in RL and will never meet them, so they don't owe me anything.

I'd find it rather strange if somebody offered me an explanation why they're leaving SL, that always reeks of drama. When I grow tired of SL some day, I'll pack up my things and leave without bothering to write what comes down to a virtual suicide note.

.............................................................

I feel very sad for you and those who believe as you do.

People are people in RL and SL.  They are real.

 

 

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And reading your remarks directed at Ishtara I would have to say I feel very sorry for YOU.  You have not yet figured out that although these people you chat with are real in RL, the grand majority are quite fake (for the most part) in SL.  Confuse these two states at your emotional peril.  I don't mean you can't enjoy your SL friends AS IF they were real, but to consider the vast majority as real friends and put your faith and trust in them as if they are is bound to lead you to disappointment.

In my opinon, Ishtara's view of things is extremely healthy and self-protective and doesn't call for an emotional response  such as "sadness" at her approach making friends in SL.  She is not being pessimistic or optimistic about friends that disappear from SL. She is being realistic.

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