If both, How do you create a balance between professional presence and leisure Entertainment?
Second Life is a diverse virtual world with endless possibilities. People from around the world log-in each day for a variety of reasons. Some come for leisure entertainment while others do business to ensure the community has what it needs to move forward and keep residents engaged and active.
For years there has been a debate about the health of Second Life’s community and the fine line between real life and Second Life.
You may have come across profiles that say “I keep SL and RL Separate” while others argue that it is impossible to do that when we are real people behind an avatar with feelings that can affect us in real life.
While that is a fact, some view Second Life as just a game, therefore they do not get emotionally involved or share details about their real life. The argument can swing either way but what it comes down to is the individual and how they choose to “live” their Second Life.
If you really think about it from the perspective of a person on the outside who does not know the virtual world culture, it may be hard for them to understand the differences or similarities a virtual world has with the real world.
The difference is in the real world when we meet people face to face and engage in conversation- frequently judgments and stereotypes are made by appearance alone. In Second Life, a profile description speaks for the person. It brings forth their personality first. This helps people determine whether or not they are interested in engaging in conversation due to similar interests or the lack of.
Another difference is trust, but who really trusts anybody at first sight in real life or in the virtual world?
Second Life really is quite similar in the respect that even in our own neighborhoods and communities we do not know all the people we live close to or work with. We don’t know what goes on in their home and life unless we communicate with them on a daily basis and form trusting friendships or relationships. Even then not all details about ones life is known.
People tend to share more about themselves once they get to know someone well. So in reality Second Life shares the same human concept of communicating, relating and bonding with others. The only difference is people in a virtual world meet from the inside out and we have to rely on our own instinct whether or not we can trust what the person is saying under an Avatar persona.
We can’t deny Second Life has caught a bad reputation due to the questionable behaviors that occur in world- but in its defense compared to the internet as a whole, it is somewhat controlled by residents who choose to steer clear of people lie, who create problems or the sketchy side of the grid.
Those who engage in dating or adult entertainment have the right to do so as long as they are not supporting illegal activities or breaking Second Life’s Terms of Service.
SL community members can easily become wrapped up in behaviors that they did not originally intend coming into Second Life. For example, business partners might become emotionally involved and decide to date. Just like in the real world mixing business and pleasure can be a lethal concoction. The moment things go sour, the business they both worked hard to create will most likely implode- leaving one or both feeling hurt or used.
Worst of all fighting over who will keep the business or let it go all together.
It is highly recommended to choose either the relationship or a business partner but not mixing both.
Another problem that occurs often in Second Life with it comes to crossing those fine lines between real life and Second Life- is married people getting involved in virtual relationships. No matter what justification someone comes up with for doing it- to many it is considered cheating.
It doesn’t matter if your marriage is on the rocks or even if you have an excellent marriage with a need to feel free. The only ones who truly get the best out of a successful Second Life relationship are singles who have found each other and have nothing to lose if they decide to take their relationship into the real world. The only issue they may face is who moves where and possibly having to get a passport.
Moving on to the business side of things, Second Life offers opportunities to those who are willing to put in the time and effort. Professionalism goes a long way and cannot be expressed enough. Having a good solid reputation for your conduct, a quality product as well as customer support is the real foundation for success.
Mixing business and leisure has its responsibilities. It is perfectly fine to mingle in the community and get to know the people who help grow your business but keep it strictly business with friendly and helpful communication. The minute you begin to share your personal problems, getting involved in romantic relationships or getting into sketchy situations, you begin to taint your reputation.
Drawing lines between business and leisure entertainment in Second Life is a very important decision to make. Knowing how to handle situation will help determine who you are, what you contribute to the virtual community and what you will get out of SL.
No life in SL or RL is perfect because perfection does not truly exist. However, goals should be created in your best interest and benefit those you care about. It will enhance your quality of life.
If you can’t find your happiness, success or balance in Second Life or understand the culture of the community you immerse yourself in-no matter how you choose to “live” in Second Life, there is no sense spending your time in it if it causes you stress or does damage to your real life relationships and opportunities.
If there is one thing you take from this article it is this- If you want to be successful- be professional.
If it is leisure you are looking for- treat people with the same respect you would expect and just have fun.
If you want both- use an ALT for balance.
Remember, time is valuable. It can be spent or wasted but can never be bought back. Use your time wisely when you are in Second Life and it will be worth every minute.