It is hard for me to believe that I’ve spent two years in Second Life, especially since I initially checked it out because of a healthy dose of skepticism. Of course, I’ve had myriad ideas of navel gazing blog posts on the subject of two years in Second Life but somehow they didn’t feel quite right. So what do I do? Seek inspiration from a well-worn first life behavior that has driven some professional colleagues a little batty. You see, the moment any project I’ve been working on has been completed, I always ask “how could we have done this better?” After seeing people react like they have ataxia, I’ve gotten better about this and recognize where people need a little time giving each other high fives before they look to making the next thing better. So, after two years, I have to ask myself: If I want to stay in SL, how can I make my virtual life better?
I have to admit it’s getting better, a little better all the time! Better look after the jump to see!
Balance is critical. Okay, so I know I blather on in this blog about some cultural things that seem a little different in the digital world than the atomic, but that is mostly because of the medium. When it comes down to it, we have one life and balancing all the things we have going on can be challenging. And if you add in a parallel set of activities in Second Life, you’ve got more to balance. Of course, things like Plurk, Facebook and Twitter don’t help. Then there is the fact that an hour in Second Life can evaporate in a flash. Urgent is not always important, and Second Life can bestow an inflated feeling of urgency. All of these things can add up to a horrendous blivvy if I don’t pay attention to maintaining the proper balance between my lives.
Choose your friends carefully and don’t be afraid to move on. This is as true in your first life as it is in your second. Let’s be clear here, when I’m talking about friends, I mean the people with whom you choose to most interact, not your SL Friends List. I’ve found that there is often (but not always) a different evolution of friendships in Second Life; there can be a sense of intimacy that develops a little more quickly. Yet like any friendship, time and shared experience are the ingredients necessary to forge deep, mutual friendships. So I’ve had a handful of friendships that started out as great but as time wore on, I found myself getting less and less from our interaction. In some instances, I would decide not to log in after looking at my Friends List and seeing names that I just didn’t feel like dealing with. It took me a little while to realize this approach was bollocks. Yes, I’m curiously nice, but I’m not a complete sook. Addressing difficult friendships might cause some wretched short-term drama but will lead to more enjoyment in the end. (and I know that I’ll have some friends reading this and wondering, “Oh god, is she talking about me?” Chances are, if that is your first response, it probably is not you. But if you are worried, feel free to ask me.)
Remember that I am in Second Life for fun. I love having fun, but sometimes I’ve found myself getting too serious in Second Life. Not that serious is bad, but how can I make sure that I’m remembering that I’m choosing SL as a recreational activity. No, I’m not getting out any sort of ruler to measure just how much fun I’ve had, but sometimes I need to take a deep breath or three, lighten up and not let myself get all combobulated. (and before you say anything, this is about MY second life, I know there are lots of people in-world for more serious endeavors.)
How about you, dear readers, care to get out your virtual squeegees and clear the muck from your screen? What would make your Second Life better?