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Finding the balance between SL and RL


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Hi Guys, 

I'm doing a bit of psychology research on second life, and just wonder if anyone's got a couple of minutes to write a couple of paragraphs about what people like about SL, and the affect using it has on real life? 

If you've got the chance, maybe just tell me why you use it, whether you prefer it sometimes to RL, why you chose to continue using it, and how you find the balance between SL and RL. For example, do you find you miss events in RL to use SL? Would you say the relationships you form on here are equal to those in the real world? Plus anything else you can think of! Tell me about your personal experiences!

If you've got a couple minutes, please respond! I'm very interested to read any responses!! 

Cheers :D

Lauren 

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I promise you, that's not the case at all. Lots of studies already conducted are about the creativity of the program, and benefits! I want to know about the social aspects, about how being able to contact so many people from so many different places affects your life. It's not a negative, honest! 

I want to talk about the social aspects in world and out of world? Give it a chance? 

 

:)

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I think you'd get a lot less self-selecting responses (and therefore possibly more valid data by including a broader scope) if you would do your research by doing...research. These forums and the ones that are archived have everything you are looking for and more.

Asking open ended questions in a shrink session might be good therapy but asking others to write paragraphs about unspecified experiences of SL sounds a lot like having others do your work, to me.

I'm probably just too old and grumpy and I did my homework.:matte-motes-impatient:

 

 

 

PS: Looking forward to my first unedited post that means I didn't load up on the typos for once.

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I discovered SL back in August and like it very much. Much of the reason I like SL is because I was lucky enough to meet some wonderful people early on, who DJ very good music. I've also met people who share my religious beliefs, which aren't mainstream. In little over two months time I've made some very good friends and listened to some very cool music in SL.

From the beginning I determined not to spend any money on SL other than for the electricity to run my computer. I have stuck to this determination and intend to keep on doing so. This said, I haven't had any difficulty obtaining sufficient $L, freebies and gifts to acquire all the nice outfits, animations, etc., I need to enjoy SL fully. Crafting my avatar's looks, playing dressup with her, being able to fly, and discovering unexpected things - like underwater or skybox stuff - is all fun too. The most fun tho is meeting people and hearing music I would hear nowhere else.

I admit to having a problem limiting my SL time and neglecting RL responsibilities since I've discovered SL. Some nights I have stayed up way too late because of SL and then been braindead at work later that day. One night I didn't get any sleep at all because of SL. I haven't read much since discovering SL and have neglected house & yard work. But I am working on this! I have determined to get to bed by 11 pm on work nights and have been doing so for the past week or two. I have also finished one book since discovering SL and have started another.

I would say that some of the friendships I have made on SL are equal to those in RL. Romantic relationships, though... not so much. I broke up with my first SL BF and it was painful but I would say not nearly as painful as breaking up in RL would be. The newness is already wearing off my second major romantic SL relationship & we will probably break up too. Oh well... I date others in SL more casually & I think that romantic relationships in SL come & go much more frequently, and at much less emotional cost, than in RL. This is just my opinion tho, of course.

Hope this satisfies your curiosity lol4040.

Jeanne

 

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If I needed to choose one word to describe it, then it would be modify. Because I can modify just about everything (which is what I didn't like in other games I've tried). I use it to see the creativity of people from all over the world. Every little thing you see in SL is created by someone, and I can wonder round for hours and just look lol

I can open my enviroment editor and have a purple sun if I want, I can adjust the light, colors, position and every little thing I can imagine.

Also, my native language is Croatian, we learn english in school and SL is atm only place where I can really practice it.

There were times when I was really spending many hours online, but if I were not here, I would be out with rl friends or doing some other free-time thing.

In rl, I'm trying to behave lol, which for me means boredom, so SL would be a place where I can do all the crazy stuff I can imagine and noone can say a word! Ho! :P

 

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Heya.. for me, it has alot to do with immersion. Residents who have good imaginations and can fall into fantasy immersion appear to take SL a lot more seriously. .. the deeper the immersion, the more you identify with your avatar. I have good friends on SL that I've been close to for yrs and I've had one love relationship that was the real thing. I'm pretty good at keeping SL and RL separate these days. Mixing the two is asking for trouble .. most of the time.

 

Cheers!

Nim

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lol4040 wrote:

Hi Guys, 

I'm doing a bit of psychology research on second life, and just wonder if anyone's got a couple of minutes to write a couple of paragraphs about what people like about SL, and the affect using it has on real life? 

If you've got the chance, maybe just tell me why you use it, whether you prefer it sometimes to RL, why you chose to continue using it, and how you find the balance between SL and RL. For example, do you find you miss events in RL to use SL? Would you say the relationships you form on here are equal to those in the real world? Plus anything else you can think of! Tell me about your personal experiences!

If you've got a couple minutes, please respond! I'm very interested to read any responses!! 

Cheers
:D

Lauren 

Hello, Lauren, is this research you're doing for a college course or just for personal interest? (I'm just interested.)

I can't help thinking that the best type of research you can do is while actually living your Second Life and meeting people inworld in their "natural environment".  I'm currently reading a Social Theory book written by Tim Guest called "Second Lifes; a journey through virtual worlds", and although I'm enjoying it, it really only scratches the surface of what Second Life has been for me, and for most people I should think. If I had read Tim Guest's book without having had at least six months experience in Second Life, I think a lot of it would not have had much relevance or resonation with me.

There seem to be a lot of Second Life stages that the majority of residents/users go through, and then there are many experiences that we have that could make each of us have enough material to write our own individual Social Theory textbook.

Anyway, to answer your question, I can tell you a bit about my own experiences in Second Life, and how they relate to Second Life.

I never prefer Second Life to real life. Second Life is NOT a replacement for real life in any way at all.  For me, Second Life is a place I come to via the door to the spare bedroom at my brother's house, so I can be on call to help my brother, who is disabled.

Some of the friendships that have formed in Second Life are very much equivalent to those of the people I know in real life, rather like the old-fashioned penfriends people used to have before all the electronic technology that we have now, except with the added dimension of being able to instantly message and respond, plus take things to Skype or to real life if we choose to.  Having a real chat over virtual coffee and voice can be very nice with the right people, and again, it means I can be in range if my brother should need anything.  Plus the coffee shops are always open, even at 2am, which they're just not in real life where I live :matte-motes-tongue:

As to the effects Second Life has on my own real life; it has been inspiring, thought-provoking, troubling sometimes, but always a good brain workout (or a headf*ck, depending how you view it), and if I were to explain further, I should perhaps instead write my own book.

If you have specific questions, contact me inworld and I'll try to answer them, and possibly steer you in other directions.

All I do know for sure is none of us have identical experiences or react in the same way in Second Life, any more than we have identical experiences in real life, and Second Life is just that ... a "Second" Life, not a replacement life.



 

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In my case Second life (and I hate to call it a life - in which it is not) is nothing more than an on-line entertainment platform. I see it more as a virtual toolbox in which I use and control the tools that fit my interests of the day and important is that I pay to play for it.

Advantage of this platform is that if you have an internet connection you can connect to your 'virtual entertainment space' anytime anywhere around the world and do the things you like to do at that moment in time without the need to carry a 5000 pieces jigsaw puzzle in your travel luggage, same like I can connect to my server at home when I need some music I want to listen too right now.

I am not so much into socializing nor really interested in to know who is behind the avatar, it is more fun if you don't know who or what, but in case people really insist I hit the mute button with a glimp which offers instant peace to both sides, this is very painless and avoids endless and useless debates - remember time is money, I pay to play sl.

My real life partner is also my second life partner, but very rarely we would login together as we both travel a lot in real life. Time to time we have some fun here together but then we are more amused by taking some 'hot' pictures of ourselves which we then add to our Flickr page and sharing it with the rest of the world (some people do really kick on animals), but she is less interested in this platform and also not so creative like I am (yes I am an ESTP type - Myers Briggs).

Talking about balance, it is very important not to take this platform too serious, it's all about entertainment anyhow.... just laugh as much as you can - in both lifes!!!!!!

*meows*

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lol4040 wrote:

Hi Guys, 

I'm doing a bit of psychology research on second life, and just wonder if anyone's got a couple of minutes to write a couple of paragraphs about what people like about SL, and the affect using it has on real life? 

People like it for the virtual sex. Since 2009, the adult area (Zindra) has doubled in size, while pg and mature areas of mainland have been shrinking. I think Nalates has the stats on it.

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I think you'll get more usable data with a survey (assuming you pay people in lindens for their time).

To really understand SL, though, you have to spend time in this virtual world.  Because it is created by the people who use it, it is many different things: part social network, part creative medium, part gaming environment, part personal experimental theater, & part alternate reality.

For myself, SL is an alternate reality where I like to go when RL seems to suck, but when I'm still able to enjoy a virtual semblance of it. What I get out of SL changes with my mood & with what I'm doing in it.

Sometimes it provides a social outlet, but I'm not really very social in SL. More often, I just enjoy walking around my virtual land or the lands other people have created. There are some very beautiful places in SL.  I'm constantly amazed at how users can create the semblance of reality with the tools we have here. When I create items & environments in SL, I get the same kind of satisfaction that I get from creating things in real life, but I can make them bigger or more fantastic without spending much money. I could make a necklace in RL, but no one would buy it for what I spent to make it. In SL, I can make a whole coastal environment, filled with plants, animals, environmental features & homes. Then I can walk my avatar around it, listing to the surf & seagulls, & feel a little bit like I'm really there.

The ability to become immersed in this virtual world is really cool, but the seduction of it has to be balanced with RL responsibilities & experiences. Even the most beautiful places in SL don't come close to what I can experience sitting by a creek or river at a local park. I'm amazed by the semblance of reality my virtual dog creates, but I don't interact with it like I do with my real dog. It doesn't have feelings. It doesn't show real boredom, excitement, playfulness, concentration or wonder.

Maybe my Virgo nature likes to deconstruct & reconstruct what makes a thing seem like a thing. Shape & visual texture are part of what makes something seem real, but sound & movement can be equally important. What visual & auditory triggers stir memories & affect us emotionally? Smell & taste are absent in SL, but other senses are cued just as effectively as in RL. The real artists of SL understand how to use it to stir thought & emotions very effectively. Some create interactive art in virtual art galleries, while others create Role-Play Sims that transport other users to places from history or that may have existed only in the artist's imagination.

I don't miss RL events in order to attend SL events, but I do sometimes prefer SL to RL. When I want to avoid RL issues, I can just as easily substitute TV, the internet or reading to immerse myself though. SL can be more seductive than other diversions, but it isn't causing the problem when people want to tune out from RL.

I find I'm happiest when I balance SL & internet use with RL activities. Keeping that balance sometimes means making myself do a few RL chores before I turn on my computer, making myself go to bed by midnight, or keeping my computer off for a day or two while I do RL activities instead. If I'm on SL too much, my sleep & dream patterns change, so I may start dreaming of being in SL or I'm unable to recall my dreams. If I don't get out of my house enough, I tend to get more depressed. To combat that tendency, I take my real dog for walks or outings.

My SL & online relationships can be rewarding, but they tend not to be as lasting or significant if I don't also meet & get to know the person in real life. I'm lucky that I have a RL boyfriend who I initially met in RL, though we also dated in SL before we did so in RL & we still use SL as a means to visit with each other when we're in different towns (which is most of the time). I've made some good friends in SL, but I haven't had serious romantic relationships without knowing the other person in person.

Why do I stay on SL? Because this virtual world provides an awesome experience that is Real. Other people are in this place, creating it & living in it. My roommate & I live two lives each, one in RL & one in SL. The emotions we feel from our SL relationships are just as real as the ones we feel in our RL ones.  We can feel worried about friends or slighted by them. We can feel happy, lonely or heartbroken. People who don't live in SL, don't understand this world, yet it is almost as varied, challenging & inspirational as our physical one.  It just runs by some different rules. 

 

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The way this post is written makes me feel as if you are not taking your research seriously. All we know about your research is that it is "a bit of psychology research". Who or what is the research for? Are you working for a private company or is this academic research? If it is academic, who is the promotor, what university/college and what department?  What about confidentiality of the data we submit? Will you post a link to the report on this forum?

 Your methodology is limited to "write a couple of paragraphs" without other questions that would enable you to draw conclusions like number of hours logged in per week, age, eductation, primary activity on SL (socializing, work, creating, arts, role play, ...). Of course it is up to you how you to decide what your attitude towards this particular research project is and how to deal with the consequences of that.

However, I think I speak for many Second Life users when I say you are not taking us seriously. The langauge you use feels biased. You speak of balance between Second Life and real life,  missing real life events because we are on Second Life, Would you ask the same questions to other people? Replace" Second Life" in your questions with an acitivity you like and see how it feels. For example: "How do you find balance between your life as a baseball fan and your Real Life"? "Did you miss Real Life events in order to go to the opera"?

Treat us as the creative and intelligent people we are and not as a research subject or phenomenon of the month. Show us you are serious about this by giving relevant information about your project and actually going into Second Life, DO something there and be part of the community that is using it.

 

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lol4040 wrote:

Hi Guys, 

I'm doing a bit of psychology research on second life, and just wonder if anyone's got a couple of minutes to write a couple of paragraphs about what people like about SL, and the affect using it has on real life?

Lauren 

a couple of paragraphs about what people like about SL, and the affect using it has on real life?

There you go.

...Dres (That didn't take long at all.)

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Your questions, Lauren, seem probably about typical of someone asking about SL who has spent little or no time "in-world".  I think that the answers you get may lack a meaningful context unless you try it yourself at least a bit.

But in any case, for me it has little impact on RL in terms of time and etc.  The time I spend in SL is time I would spend on the computer anyway.  I have never thus far chosen an SL event over an RL event.  So far as balance, what balance?  It is just life, whether RL or SL or whatever.  One minute of your time is one minute of your life, and your life is how you chose to spend those minutes and what you did with them.  You don't get them back once they're spent, so I count them as equally important.  

Relationships.  Other than a very few acquaintances or very new friends, I don't have any in SL.  I'm not really good at meeting new people, and don't feel I ever know what to say.  I'm much the same in RL, so I wouldn't even know how to roleplay "being someone popular" or something. LOL  But if perhaps you meant more "online" than strictly SL, I do have friends online from places other than SL.  Some of them I've known for a decade or more, and they are every bit as important to me as if they lived next door or across town.  In some cases we exchange (non-virtual) gifts, help each other with problems, etc.  Why would I view them as less important or less friends because we met online?  My friends from other places online (and RL friends and family) do not share my interest in SL.  Many of them tried it at some point, but found it boring or pointless or confusing or their machine wasn't good enough or they didn't want to do all the tweaks it would take to get it running right or to have an avatar that didn't look "just awful".

So why am I here?  Well, not so much for what SL is at the moment maybe as what I feel it could be or might eventually become.  Pretty much anything you want, you can make.  At least if you'll spend the time learning how.  Or you can buy what someone else has made, but practicality and rarity of materials doesn't come into play much in SL  I make things in RL, but metal wood, stone all cost more than prims and take more time to shape.  Ok, well, it depends really.  Sometimes I could make an item in an hour in RL that might take days of tinkering to get right in SL.  But mostly it's just going to be a matter of time and thought and some learning.  So the creative potentials here are almost unlimited.  I also like to wander and see what others have thought of and created.  I find it very interesting to see what people make and do in a world where they can have pretty much anything and don't need to worry about things like food or medical care or even shelter, really. 

The downside of course, is seeing that some of them can't think of anything better to do with that opportunity than annoy and bother other people or try to make a quick buck off them.  (That's not aimed at legitimate SL business, I'm talking about the scamming attempts.)

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Persephone Emerald wrote:

...If I'm on SL too much, my sleep & dream patterns change, so I may start dreaming of being in SL.....


Yes! I have noticed this very thing. My dreams have taken on a very SL-like quality, since I discovered SL back in August. I'm not sure whether this should worry me or not. In any case I find it fascinating ...

Jeanne

 

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JeanneAnne wrote:


Persephone Emerald wrote:

...If I'm on SL too much, my sleep & dream patterns change, so I may start dreaming of being in SL.....


Yes! I have noticed this very thing. My dreams have taken on a very SL-like quality, since I discovered SL back in August. I'm not sure whether this should worry me or not. In any case I find it fascinating ...

Jeanne

 

You think that's bad?  The other night a actually dreamt about the forum... lol.  I dreamt the badges had been moved to the right side instead of the left, but that people's names and other information stayed where it was.  I woke up thinking wtf?

...Dres

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I discovered SL when I was feeling a little bored. I learned all about primitives in the Ivory Tower and also took lessons with Brewer's to learn more. I met and still have a selective round of SL friends who like me prefer to keep SL and RL separate. On that note, I don't prefer SL to RL. I think that in SL you can relax while visiting different places and meeting people. In RL, there would be much more involved in doing same. There's also a time limit in RL that you less frequently see in SL (not counting RL responsibilities of course). I don't see SL as a substitute for RL. I see it as a way to unwind after a long day. I hope this helps. Cheers :matte-motes-bashful-cute-2:

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