|Image from New World Notes|
The other day I was happily profile perving, you know as one does... I mean how else am I going to weed out interesting tid bits to pass on?
Anyway apologies to the avatar whose profile I stole this from, I omitted to make a note of his name.
It went as follows:
You know you're addicted to SL when:
#10.Checking out at a Grocery store You sign your Avatar's name instead of your own
# 9. You tell your Mom you will TP Over In 5 mins.
# 8. When a friend asks you for directions, you offer to give him a landmark or a TP.
# 7. You jump up into the air, thinking you can fly.
# 6. When someone asks to borrow your notes in class, you tell them they are no-transfer.
# 5. When you walk, and say to yourself, "/ao on"
# 4. You start using the words "Rez"and "Prim"...
# 3. You keep trying to right click things...
# 2. When you look in the mirror and think, "I need to adjust my appearance".
This is just a bit of fun but it got me thinking, is SL addictive? In my opinion it is.
The definition of addiction is:
the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance or activity.
"he committed the offence to finance his drug addiction"
Think back to when you first joined Second Life. The learning curve was immense and getting your head around moving, changing your avatar’s appearance and generally acclimatising to the wonderful world of SL was simply mind blowing. It may have been a challenge, but hey you were up for said challenge weren’t you? The lure of the mystical virtual world was compelling, you couldn’t wait to log on. Am I wrong?
You began to find yourself doing stupid things like taking your laptop to bed with you and putting it in the laundry basket in the bathroom? Right? What were you going to do? Log on while pretending to be on the loo? And to what end? It’s not like it wasn’t going to be there the next day.
What exactly was it that you were addicted to? The opportunity to connect with people? Playing Barbie Dolls for big girls and Action Man for big boys? Was it the fear of missing out? Or was it because you were now the cool popular girl or guy in your circle of friends? Think back to when you were a teenager: how important was it for you to be cool?
The word cool originated back in the 1920’s in jazz clubs where if you were cool, it meant you were someone who knew how to strut your stuff via dancing, the clothes you wore, and the way you talked. It was an acknowledgement that the way you expressed yourself was unique and respected by others. It’s very similar to when a peacock struts its feathers to show off.
In today’s day and age, to be cool or popular is a bit different from how it originally started. Because everyone wants to be cool it’s now more about social acceptance via standing out. There’s still a slight component of being different and unique but because everyone is trying to be different and unique it’s now a form of conformity.
Okay so maybe it’s not being cool that you’re addicted to. Is it the fact that Second Life allows you to try things you would never do in real life? You can fly, express you creativity in a myriad of ways, start your own business, you name it, you can do it.
Does it offer sexual freedom? Does Fifty Shades of Grey tickle your fancy, but it’s never going to happen in RL? Does SL offer you a safe environment to be as promiscuous as you like in the safety of the anonymity it offers? Is your real life missing something? Or do you just want to be beautiful?
At some point you begin asking yourself what are you doing in SL and for most the addiction does wane. Eventually… And gets replaced with disillusion. And why disillusion? That’s easy to answer, residents of SL are operated by RL humans and therefore are inclined to perpetuate the negative traits of said humans due to the aforementioned anonymity. That’s not to say that the positive traits aren’t in play as well. Because they are, especially when it comes to raising funds for charity.
It’s difficult to sustain a productive real life whilst fully immersing yourself in your virtual life. Moderation is required as with most things in life. Second Life can and does facilitate personal growth. You just have to learn how to embrace it without letting it consume you.
Join the conversation and let me know why you were or are addicted to Second Life.