Saturday, January 17, 2015

Maintaining Balance in Second Life


Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.

Thomas Merton


          Some may find this story’s title a little too heavy, or perhaps frightening.

          What does maintaining balance in Second Life (SL) really mean after all?

          It’s only a virtual world, right?

          Do I now have to worry about how I live my life in SL as well as in Real Life (RL) too?

          This can’t possibly apply to me! Can it?

          Gather round and listen because I’m going to chat a little about why maintaining balance in SL is important.  (Significant Other nods approvingly.)

          For me, balance inworld is about three components.

          These are time, behavior, and relationships.

          The matter comes down really to what is overdoing it in SL all about.

          Let’s start with time.

          If we spend too much time inworld we may neglect our RL partners, friends, and family.  (Please note, I’m not confessing to a problem here myself.  My comings and goings in SL are with the full approval of Significant Other who while disdaining their own avatar has developed a fondness for shoulder surfing whilst rolling eyes rather frequently.)

          Perhaps we neglect RL responsibilities or even forget about RL as we have marathon sessions.

          Next, behavior is another area where we can lose a sense of balance inworld.

          Do we come inworld not to experiment and maybe try things we wouldn’t otherwise do in RL but to act out in ways that would get us ejected from most RL places if not arrested?

          Are we rude, obnoxious in our dealings with others inworld?  Are we bad friends or do we take advantage of others?

          Do we troll or grief just because we can hide behind a clock of anonymity inworld?

          Does our SL identity reflect who we truly are or someone else?

          Finally, the big one, our relationships with others inworld.  (Yes, some may only have a relationship with themselves inworld but I’ll save that topic for another time.)

          Are our relationships with others healthy?  Are they based on respect?  Do others trust us inworld?  Or, because it’s a virtual world we just don’t care about the effects of our
relationships with others?

          For those who move into RL with their relationships going from simply being friends to something deeper, is it done for the right reasons and not in some misguided, quixotic attempt to escape a RL relationship that we view as toxic?

          I think (This is the point where Significant Other always begins to worry.) that how we maintain our balance with time, behavior, and relationships inworld comes down to what our purpose for being there in the first is.

          Are we here just for a wild and crazy time?

          Well, OK, if that’s our mission then let’s at least let everyone around know what type of grenade range they’re getting themselves into when they get involved with us.

          But maybe, just maybe, we’re inworld for some more worthwhile, uplifting purpose.  (Now, there’s an original thought, huh?)

          Maybe we’re here to visit new places, meet new friends, and have new experiences without losing some sense of ourselves.

          Possibly our motivation is build or participate in a community, connect in a mystical or spiritual sense with others, or simply add value by being creative with the arts, scripting, or
other content.  (Perhaps blogs?)

          In closing, I’m going to suggest that maybe we should all think about why are we here in SL.

          Let’s ask ourselves do others really want us around in SL?

What would we want our legacy to be inworld after we finally rezz out for the last time?

Something real and genuine or simple drama?

And let’s not forget about RL and those out there who are near and dear to us?

Are they glad we’re lost inworld somewhere or do they miss and need us?

Everything in moderation.

Think about it!

As always, I’m grateful to all inworld for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives.         

My Twitter handle is @webspelunker.  Please feel free to follow me and I’d be happy to follow you.

I can be found on Google+ as webspelunker Ghostraven.

My flickr Photostream is located here.

On Skype I’m webspelunker Ghostraven.

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.

          Open roads and kind fires!

1 comment:

Lindal Kidd said...

Wonderful post, Web. I hope it makes some people stop and think...but, the ones who really should, probably won't!