Saturday, July 4, 2015

Whom Are Our Friends in Second Life?

I don't make friends based on how big their pockets are or how well connected they are; rather I make friends based on how positive their minds are. It is hard to end up with a very complicated lifestyle if you are always surrounded by positive minded individuals.

Edmond Mbiaka


          Recent events involving Second Life (SL) and me have me pondering about my friends inworld and a deeper appreciation of friendship in SL.  (Significant Other has that worried look again.)

          Over the last several weeks, I’ve assisted the First UCC team with their social media efforts for the UCC General Synod recently held in Cleveland in Real Life (RL).  (At least I

hope I helped them. Haven’t heard of anyone being excommunicated yet.)

          I’ve been traveling inworld visiting castles for my latest series and doing what I normally do as I travel about exploring and looking for my next story. 

          All these events got me thinking about my SL friends.

          Whom are they?

          (Don’t you just love these existential questions?  They drive Significant Other crazy.)

          What constitutes a friend?

          We all have our own definitions.

          But, does this definition, whatever it is, roll over into SL with us?

          Does it matter whether it does or not?

          What are the characteristics of our friends?

          They’re similar to us even if it’s only how we imagine ourselves to be.

          We have similar interests.

          We like being around them. 

          We miss them when they’re not around and maybe not worry when we don’t know why.

          We expose ourselves to the risks associated of opening ourselves up to another and the possible resultant pain. 

          Notice how I didn’t distinguish between SL and RL?  (Pretty subtle of me, huh?)

          Then there’s that supposedly impenetrable firewall separating SL from RL.

          I say “supposedly” because I find it’s getting awfully porous lately.

For example, I mentioned the UCC General Synod that I participated in.  (I really hope no one got excommunicated.  No, wait!  UCC doesn’t excommunicate people Becca

Kellstrom once told me.  They just don’t invite them to the big dance.)  There I was bouncing around as an avatar communicating with RL!

          Another for instance, Significant Other regularly asks me about my SL friends by name and how are they doing.  (This isn’t as bizarre as it sounds.  For some strange reason Significant Other prefers having me around instead of globetrotting about in RL.  Easier to find me this way I’m told.)

          And, then there’s my use of social media.   

          I regularly use Twitter, Google+, Skype (text only), and emails to stay in touch with my SL friends.

          Admittedly, all this occurs behind the identities of our avatars.

          But, are any of us really that different from whom we are in RL?

          Something tells me not.

          I believe that our SL friends are very much like our RL friends.

          In other words, they’re very much like ourselves too. 

          (I hope that none of my friends are insulted by my saying that!)

          We and they co-exist in both worlds.

          Overall, I think this is a pretty good idea!

          What do you think?

          In writing a story like this, I thought I’d call out many of my SL friends.

          But, there are so many of you and I don’t want to slight anyone by not mentioning them.

          So, to all of my wonderful SL friends, many heartfelt thanks for your friendship, time, and patience with a friend who tends to bounce around a lot! 

          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!

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