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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Ethical Communication in the Virtual World: How Important Is It To You and this Community? - Lanai Jarrico Reporting...

I’m not here to skip around all oblivious or sit pretty and paint perfect skies filled with rainbows and butterflies. I have to work here in Second Life © and want to throw in my 10 cents in on how I view Second Life’s communication health and also how we can mix and mingle in a virtual environment, in peace, with minimal to no drama and emotional issues.

How Do We Avoid Issues?

Right off the top, nonsense and pettiness is poisonous to any environment and only spreads negativity. Some people need to open their window sometimes and air out all that ugliness, perhaps even come out of their box and see the bigger picture.  Success and longevity is the goal for having a Second Life people can honestly say they enjoy as their creative escape. Otherwise, what is the purpose for returning just to wallow in the misery of others?

The First Thing to Ask Yourself is, Why Are You Here?

I’m not a communications major for nothing. My grades consist of A’s and B’s with the rare C that was attributed to my lack of skills in Algebra.  Anyway,  I love to write, ramble mostly,, network, ask questions, explore, meet new people, express myself and be creative.
 What better place than here in SL © to unleash that energy?  It fascinates me that I can meet people from all over the world, learn about different cultures and see things from their perspectives. The list of influential people I have met  through the years is huge. I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for those that continue to inspire me.

On the flip side of things, the list of clowns that parade around our virtual world continues to spread across our grid and interrupting people’s experiences. This saddens me that this incredibly creative platform is being tainted in such a way that it is causing many to leave.

Dedication. What is Up With That?

In order to have a solid community, we need dedicated people to contribute to it. Through the years I have observed a once thriving community filled with activities, become a place where people log in to tend to their addiction or just sitting there and chat about unproductive nonsense, gossip or just unleashing unnecessary drama and misery upon others for the sole purpose of their own selfish needs or gratification.

Fight or Flight. Where Do We Draw the Line and Distance Ourselves from Such Individuals?
If you are an avid reader of SLE, you may have come across the anonymous comments and my response to a certain one recently. Sometimes snide remarks deserve a  virtual backhand and I won’t hesitate to hand one out and keep it movin. Whether you agree or disagree with my temper management, that is how I handle my business.

For lingering disputes, do we feed into it and fuel situations by bickering or mudslinging back and forth, or do we retreat in defensive of our best interest and the friends we want to keep and protect? We all have the right to defend ourselves against ignoramuses and once we have said our piece, we can retreat peacefully.

Ultimately the Decision is Yours to Make.

Just remember, whichever path you choose will lead you to your next adventure or set of obstacles to overcome.  Handling the issues it in the best way can be tricky because in conflict, disagreements always leave someone’s bloomers in a bunch.  There’s always going to be that overbearing personality that may disagree with yours. It’s a  part of both our real world and our virtual one.  We can either agree to disagree and move on or continue to run ourselves in circles with no real finish line. The last option will only leave you dazed and confused.

Where Do We Begin to Defuse Conflict?

The truth is, we really don’t have to deal with it in a place we voluntarily come to. We are not forced to communicate with people we don’t mesh with.  (BLEEP) That!, why should we? No one is above another  in Second Life. We all log in to have the same free will and access to our own creativity. Not to mention, we all must follow the same terms of service or we are all susceptible to a Linden boot right up the wazzoo. We are responsible for our actions with the people we choose as our friends and for the personal information we share with or about them.

Are you a Two Faced Gossip?

Oh those are the worst. If I could give out ex lax candy bars in Second Life....Those would be the ones getting it so they can spew from both ends. If you are a gossip and on my friends list, I better not find out what you been saying about me or my friends. I might have enough dirt on you to return fire in a malicious way, but I won’t because I’m not that type of person but you will be cut off faster than a child support check at age 18.

Sharing your Personal Business in SL
I usually share limited personal information with those that have shared something personal with me and earned a smidgen of my trust. I might even throw in a little tester to see if it gets back to me. I’ll confess, I’m not really an airess to a major fortune and former beauty pageant queen that romances a prince of a foreign country. If you thought that was the truth....sorry.

Well, part of that MIGHT be true, but a lady never kisses and tells.

Anyway, for a top virtual  journalist, I’m surprised by the indiscretions and personal disclosures some people are willing to reveal to me, but just like Fort Knox, those golden secrets are safe with me and I won’t cramp my style by throwing those that trust me under the virtual bus.

Who is Wasting Their Time?

In a little blunt nutshell, ass kissing across the grid is never necessary unless that person depends on others to put a roof over their head and food in their family’s mouths. If that’s not the case, then SL really is an expensive hobby or a cheap form of entertainment for griefers,  rached escorts, cheating bump and grinders, menacing role players that don’t follow rules, scammers and ALTs with hidden agendas. If you fit any of these roles, find something else to do with your time, like see a counselor, get a real job, move out your parent’s basement or simply be gone from Second Life.

For the Premium Members and  Professionals of Second life,

Second Life is an extension of their real life. It holds value and meaning on a different level. These people recognize that Second Life gives them a chance to define who they are and apply their skills in a global community. In the process,  professionals  get to discovery new ideas, meet people they may have never had the opportunity to meet before, make a supplemental income, and network on a grander scale.

It’s Not a Virtual Game. It’s a Global Community Working Together, With an Economy Involved.  

Those who serve this community and believe in it’s unique ability to educate, bring people together and entertain, are the educators, media personnel and business entrepreneurs that dedicate their time, skills, money and efforts to support the SL  economy.  They believe in Second Life and want to preserve the importance that is being overshadowed by the negative things that happen in this virtual world.

Who Can You Trust in Second Life?

Once I was told that my own friends talk behind my back and that I should trust no one in Second Life. That’s a hurtful statement to anyone that fiercely protects their friends and always has their best interests at heart.  My response was, that I was not surprised that I have backstabbers. That’s not news to me, but the most upsetting part was,this information was only told to me because I had made a decision due to their negativity.

His reaction to my decision was to be defensive and try to play me against my friends. Really, it was his actions that directly affected his personal relationships with people causing him a bad reputation.

I used this example to let you know the type of people I’ve worked with that show their true colors when my services are no longer rendered to them.
It is possible to establish trust with those you meet in a virtual world but trusting yourself comes first and foremost. When you have established that confidence in what you do, then you can begin to trust others.

Don’t overexposure yourself or Kick Yourself in the Ass

What you do and say can’t be taken back and can even be used against you later on.
In Second Life there are many that claim to be more than they are by adding deception to their list of skills, flaunting their toys and gadgets or buying up  virtual real estate as if gold will be found. Those things are only as valuable as the person is trusted.  Professionalism with a positive attitude is the best combination to look for in the people we meet.

What’s a professional?
According to Merriam-Webster, “Being a professional is characterized by or conforming to the technical or ethical standards of a profession . It is also described as exhibiting a courteous, conscientious, and generally businesslike manner in the workplace.”

We begin by being skilled, possessing leadership, having self control in conflicts and  handling a situations with the least amount of collateral damage. Successful professionals are also positive and productive.

How do you contribute to the community?
Those of us for a peaceful environment are responsible for weeding out  those that abuse our virtual world, mistaking our kindness for weakness or taking advantage of our vulnerabilities.  It makes the environment ugly, not to mention that behavior gives this place an undeserving bad reputation.

How important is ethical communication to you? Should we all be worried?
I have heard people speak negatively about SL because of one or two experiences that took away from their curiosity to explore.  Some of my friends are also voicing their concerns too.

They feel that there is a lack of professionals and fun events. Avatars are beginning to think everything is starting to get old, boring or have been done before.

This is a major concern for our community, knowing people are becoming bored or frustrated with the lack of ethical values and new ideas.

These things can cause a rapid decline in venues, concert goers, shoppers, entertainment and ultimately professional contributions that generate an income for others to cover their overhead and base their SL livelihood on the activities that occur here. To sum up my ramble, use awareness as your guide and things should fall neatly into place.

Reputation and trust are the most important things in ones life that should be fiercely protected and maintained. Educating yourself on what is important in your first and second life and valuing the friendships and connections you make should be on the top of that list too. No one gets successfully through life alone or on lies or false pretenses.  It takes some integrity,courage, strength, humility, experiences, friendships and loved ones, even a little drama to help you along the way.



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