Art is a way of expressing ourselves. It has been around since cavemen drew pictures of stick people on cave walls or on stone. Many can agree that not all art is something pretty to look upon. There is art each of us use every day, with every interaction and with each word we chose. It is the art of conversation.
Conversation is something that takes talent to approach someone and start a discussion that could lead to everything or nothing, and the hardest part is that first time.
Second Life offers an outlet for this communication art. In Real Life not many of us will walk up to a complete stranger and start chatting away, but SL gives us so many openings to chose from that it is unheard of not to take advantage of open chat. Have you made a friend on Second Life? A lover perhaps? At some time or another there was a first conversation and to make it work there had to be more than a “Hi, how you doin'?” involved.
Second Life, like Facebook, is a social networking platform. It gives us thousands of ways to express ourselves and explore other’s personalities. From the shoes you wear to the real life section of your profile is a thought or decision you made at some time in your SL and is an opening for another’s thought.
There are so many ways to approach people that it would be impossible not to at some point.
We can chose a shop, an activity, or a club to attend. There is an opening for conversation at each of these places. How many times have you gotten bored and just jumped the box next to you? When you are shopping there is always remarks of clothes, the stores' design, how you found the place, active hunts etc. that can start a conversation with a stranger. Clubs are the same way.
Dances fascinate me, if I find someone willing to respond to me, that is usually something I will bring up. Have you ever seen the Monkey Robot? The Bite Me? Those two never get old and with each avatar they seem completely new to me, as wonderful as the first time my avi lifted her foot and started moving with the rhythm.
I cannot tell you how many times I've jumped into a box of interest and discussed the club before moving on to other topics to get to know someone.
If you have a slow connection or have a hard time rezzing the environment around you there is always a discussion starter there You can randomly say “Wow lag is really a problem today” and someone might just chime in with agreement. You can stay on the topic or start a new one by asking where they are from, ask how did they discovered the venue, what they do in SL and share the same about yourself.
I don't care who you are or what you do in Second Life there is always something to talk about. Clothes, shoes, shapes, facelights all of these things provide an opening for a comment or conversation.
If someone has taken time and an interest then you will notice there are some very beautiful avatars to look upon. Not just the skinny, well muscled, every day celebrity beauty, but the original. It's all in the details and noticing just that tiny difference and remarking on it can be the start of a long conversation opening someone up to share ideas.
Have you ever seen the little bows on women's shoes? The highly detailed earrings? Shoes scooted back off the feet that could be corrected with a small fix? Maybe you've been one of the lucky ones to catch an avatar that has no hair in their viewer and you jump in to let them know that SL might be glitching today.
This has happened to me a time or two and I'm always appreciative of the one that let me know and it builds that bridge to share SL horror stories, Let's face it, we all have them). It doesn't take a moment to glance at an avatar and see where they put their work in.
These are all ways of making conversation, they work, but you start with the focus of what you see. Sometimes it will move no further than a discussion of where a person shops or how badly the dj sucks. Second Life offers a cure for the curious.
You may have been attracted to the time and attention put into the pixels, but that can only hold our attention for so long. We see with our eyes, but in SL it is what tickles our minds that keeps our interest. It takes very little to fill out a profile and it is an excellent way to find an icebreaker.
An empty profile is an instant discouragement. I want to see what you like, see if there is something common there that we might talk about.
I don't care if it is where you live, (we all dream of visiting another land), what you read, (Of course I'm going to be curious what someone thinks or what fascinates them.
Tiny things in the profile could make the world of difference and make someone realize that you could be interesting, plus it allows us to better find a stimulating opening to better understand each other.
A well written profile will always earn a lot of notice. I cannot count how many times I've just sat back and enjoyed learning about someone then jumped their box to let them know how well that was written.
It is a vice among my friends at this point to just pick names from nearby and see what we can find, because this is an impression you give others and provides more opportunity to meet people of like minds.
Too many people are shy and sit back waiting for another to bridge that gap. Too many people overlook how much it actually takes to exchange ideas. So very many of us forget how that first conversation started, but there will always be one. You can't jump to instant friends or anything more without a form of communication.
Icebreakers are always a great tool, but never forget to build from there. It is our words that make that first impression. It is our words that we wield so thoughtlessly, that make who we are on Second Life, so the next time you open up to someone, keep them interesting.