Saturday, March 23, 2013

Why Am I Still in Second Life?

Life is just a mirror, and what you see out there, you must first see inside of you.

Wally “Famous” Amos

          After almost two years in Second Life (SL) I’ve been thinking about why I’m still here lately.  Actually, a few people inworld have been asking me why. Not to mention Significant Other, who has been very supportive of my efforts but asks why and where do I go from here.  (Be warned, I talk a lot about myself in this story.) 
          My original reasons for traveling and blogging about SL were because I wanted to share with a larger audience my wanderings about the grid.  Why was I even on the grid in the first place?  Well, traveling about in Real Life (RL) is not an option for me as it once was.  (Significant Other expects me home on a regular basis and quite rightly insists on a forwarding address those few times that I do get about these days.)  Also, I’d read the blog of Bunky Snowbear who had tried to walk across the SL grid before giving up.  I thought to myself, “Why not?”
          That was then and this is now which causes me to rethink why I’m here.  (Don’t worry, this isn’t one of those hand wringing spiels where I announce I’m leaving SL.   I’m here to stay.  I’m only revisiting my reasons.) 
          As I’ve blogged before, I’ve learned a lot since coming inworld and a lot’s been happening.  Like making friends, folks like Perryn Peterson, Spec Belfire, and kimba are just four of many whom I’ve made. I can’t forget Janey Bracken and Hibiscus Hastings from my CNN iReports days.  (Several remain nameless to protect their privacy.  I seem to have gained a certain notoriety.  But, they still like to hang out with me!)  These are people whom I look for when I’m inworld and participate in events as part of communities.  Or, just chat and check in our respective SL’s.
          Communities are another reason that brings me back inworld. These are the groups of individuals who have come together inworld to socialize, create, and have a good time overall.  These communities come and go.  Sometimes, individuals just stop coming inworld and they’re missed.  There is that human urge to know what happened and why.  We can’t leave the story unfinished.  Sometimes, SL friends have RL issues and we talk. We want to reach out and help as best we can.  The barrier between SL and RL begins to blur.
          Then there’s what’s at the end of the road.  But, there never is a final destination in SL.  Curiosity is one of the impulses bringing me back.  (Significant Other likes to remind me that curiosity kills the cat.)  SL is not complete and never will be.  The only thing that SL can do is end and that unfortunately depends on the corporate whims of Linden Lab. 
          Finally, what happens next in SL keeps bringing me back inworld.  Who will be the new people I will meet?  Some who may not even be in SL yet.  What new places will I discover?  Again, maybe they haven’t even been built yet.  What new experiences could I have?  And trust me, I haven’t even scratched the surface here yet. 
          Like I wrote earlier, I’m staying inworld.  How long do I stay I don’t know.  But, in my RL, I tend to go the distance on projects that I start.  I plan to do the same here.  The unanswered question is when do I go into the Greater Metaverse and see what’s going on out there which was my original goal. 
            So, why am I still in SL?  Let’s just say I’m enjoying myself with my friends and looking forward to new friends, new journeys, and new experiences.  I love the uncertainty of not knowing what’s around the turn in the road. 
 As always, I’m grateful to all for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives.
I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at . 

     If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
please click here.


Anonymous said...

Hi, I've been in SL now for five and a half years and know that others have been there much longer, since the start in fact. I guess for some of us it's addictive. For many like me it's a chance to have the kind of life we'll never have again in RL, company, friends, the daily intercourse - and I don't mean sexual. It was at first, as for many, but we get older and those things seem less appealing. Like you I have no intention of leaving. Like others I know, SL has become as important as RL. And of course I have people who depend on my presence there. One day that will have to change, as I get too old, or too ill, or too broke to keep up the payments, but for as long as I can I will be around. I wish you a long a happy second life. It's not as shallow as many people imagine.
Janeel Kharg.

Bunky Snowbear said...

Hi Webspelunker! Looks like your travels around SL have lasted longer than mine did. I found that the more I travelled around, the more things looked the same, and 95% of it was pretty dull and predictable.
It seems to me you are going through a transformation in SL, as we all do from time to time. It can be painful, but I've found from experience that if you make it through, it only makes you stronger. My theory is that time runs about 5 times faster in SL than in RL. People, communities and places come in and out of your life much quicker, and you are forced to mature, to evolve more quickly. This is so different to RL time that it can be challenging to adapt. I've considered quitting SL several times. Sometimes it has been a strangely emotional process, leaving me wondering why I care so much. But I have always returned with new vigour, a new attitude and new priorities. After about 4 years on SL (which feels like 40 years), I'm pretty comfortable. I have about a dozen good friends I trust, and about 2 extra special long term friends who are the backbone of my SL. I have also found that having a hobby, a purpose in SL is essential for my health. For me it's making films with my friends, which can be challenging and sometimes a bit stressful, but it keeps me out of trouble (usually, lol). I'm very wary of adding people to my friends list, but mostly because I'm too busy to get to know new people. I also have developed a thick skin, and I don't generally get upset about people that are trying to manipulate or make other peoples SL a misery. I'm pretty good at sniffing out drama and avoiding it.
I'm still susceptible to making errors of judgement, but I generally feel wiser these days. I know what I want out of SL and I know my limits.
The first few years of SL can be a slippery slope, but if you make it to the top of the hill the view is pretty nice. It's like growing up and maturing in RL, only it happens in the space of a few short years rather than decades. At least in my experience.
It's great to see you still have a curious and open mind and enjoy exploring the grid and all it has to offer. If you are starting to have doubts, or are not enjoying things for some reason, I'd recommend taking a break for a few weeks or months then returning with fresh eyes. Happy travels!

webspelunker said...


TYVM for your encouragement! I agree with you! SL is not as shallow as many imagine but a series of communities of people who are drawn closely together for their own reasons.

Be well!



webspelunker said...


Have no fear! I have no doubts! I still enjoy SL and its residents.

I learned from your experiences ans targeted my visits thus avoiding the empty spaces inbetween thriving communities of people. TYVM for your guidance and good luck in your new ventures!



Anonymous said...

"Why Am I still in Second Life?"

After over 8 years I suppose the question for me is Why would I ever want to leave Second Life? It has been an amazing experience of self discovery. Over the many years I've been in SL I have watched myself evolve over and over again.

I've been an explorer, an exotic dancer, an escort, a club owner, a photographer, a builder, a designer... I've been in RP communities, Tiny Empires communities, BDSM communities... I've been a submissive, a Mistress, a nudist, a pilot... I've been male, female, and more true to my heart living out the rest of my days in SL proud of my woman's heart as a Transgender SL woman... I've been involved in Relay for Life as a co-captain, an event planer, an estate manager for a sim I've lived in since 2008... I've been married, twice and the first marriage only ended when my first partner left Second Life... My second wife has completely renewed my belief in love in SL she is the greatest and most treasured person in my SL EVER... I've owned a Roller Skating venue in a wonderful sim, I'm a half-way decent terraformer and can modify the crap out of anything with the (M) permit... I'm a family person with friendships that date back to 2007, have a SL Mom and Dad, my own lovely daughter who makes me smile everyday, and too many siblings to keep track of... Drama, both a victim as well as guilty as hell but I like to think I've matured in my Second Life over the years... I am very passionate about my faith RL and SL... ok so hang on... I'm a devout PROGRESSIVE Catholic, but I attend a First United Church of Christ in Second Life! Open and accepting to even people as weird as me... I'm passionate about my support for the LGBT community in SL...

Gosh I'm wracking my brain here I've done so much and been to so many places in Second Life that even the thought of leaving it I would never entertain. Linden Labs would have to shut the whole thing down to get rid of me. Loving Second Life 8 years later...

Only Love,

Evangeline Ling

webspelunker said...


Many thanks for your very open and candid reflection on why you're still in Second Life!

You've certainly lived your Second Life to the fullest and have found a home with the wonderful people at First UCC!

I'll disagree with you on one point...

You're not weird!

You're an open minded person who enjoys all aspects of life whether Second or Real!

Thanks for reading and commenting!

Open roads and kind fires!