Home SL Lifestyle Is Second Life Just for Solos? Debunking Myths About Friendships in general

Is Second Life Just for Solos? Debunking Myths About Friendships in general

by Prisqua Newall
231 views 15 minutes read

I recently saw a post in a Second Life Facebook group that got me thinking. Someone mentioned, “If someone doesn’t log in to Second Life for a while, they might find that no one talks to them when they return, which could make playing the game pointless. I am really kinda trying to get back into the game.”

I’ve always seen Second Life as more than just a game—it’s a whole world, really. But if you’re approaching it purely as a game, I wonder, do the ideas of gaming and friendship really mesh? It’s a thought that’s been bouncing around in my mind.

Now, this comment sparked some interesting replies, and some of them honestly felt a little sad. Here’s a taste of what Second Life residents were saying:

  • “I don’t even know where to go to make friends.” (Feeling a bit adrift on Second Life? There’s a whole world of friendly residents just waiting to bump into you. Sure, crossing paths with someone special isn’t always a walk in the park, but the potential pals are out there!)
  • “Don’t expect a welcome back with open arms from people you knew in world lol.” (Yeah, that one’s a little sharp, isn’t it? Friendships need a little TLC to keep going strong. It’s all about giving as much as you’re hoping to get back.)
  • “I’ve given up on messaging anyone to say hi, half are afk and the rest just seem busy and I feel like I am bothering them.” (It’s tough when it feels like you’re navigating a sea of AFKs or busy bees. Still, a simple “hey” might just make someone’s day. You never know who’s on the other side, just hoping for a chat.)
  • “You’re better off alone! But one or a few is ok. Just watch out for jealous people, hating behind your back, seeking attention, etc.” (Hold up, it’s not all shadows and shady characters on Second Life! True, you might run into a couple of rainclouds, but there’s an abundance of sunshine in the form of awesome, supportive residents too.)
  • “Friendship seems to be a fickle thing in SL sadly.” (It can feel that way, but I promise, it’s not all fleeting connections. With so many groups and communities based on every hobby under the sun, there are definitely solid friendships to be made.)
  • “you picked the wrong friends.” (That stings a bit, doesn’t it? Maybe it’s time for a fresh start. Second Life is vast, and there are plenty of incredible people just waiting to meet someone exactly like you. Time to dive back in and find your crew!)

Honestly, it’s not the first time I’ve stumbled across posts like this. They pop up quite often, voiced by residents who are either dipping their toes back into Second Life or are brand new and feeling a bit lost about how to forge connections. I’ve even seen people hesitant to jump in, worried they’ll face the same issue.

Following my piece on how shopping frenzies seem to have taken over Second Life, dimming the light on what the platform is truly about, it’s disheartening to see. Nowadays, it almost feels like shopping on Second Life has eclipsed even the adult content, and that’s really saying something.

But, the silver lining? That post and the accompanying video resonated with many who seem eager to return to the essence of Second Life—exploring and connecting with others. That’s exactly what these two friends, Wishy and Mia, aimed to achieve with Unison, creating a spot where community and fun are front and center. Their story demonstrates the transformative power of Second Life.

Is Second Life Just for Solos? Debunking Myths About Friendships in generalWishy, a DJ who once managed DJs and hosts at a club, met Mia when she applied for a hosting job. It was during the interview process that their paths crossed, and the connection was immediate. Mia became Wishy’s host, and together, they formed the dynamic duo known as DoD (Daughters of Darkness). They began hosting small shows at the club, showcasing their synergistic creativity and soon realising that together, they could craft something even more significant. This realisation led them to leave the club behind and create Unison—a place symbolised by the yin and yang, representing their belief that Unison wouldn’t exist without the harmonious partnership of their contrasting yet complementary personalities.

Unison was born out of a desire to showcase the boundless potential of creativity within Second Life. It grew into a hub featuring venues, leveraging Wishy’s passion for DJing and music, and allowing them the freedom to play and express their musical tastes freely. Since its inception, Unison has been a beacon of inspiration, constantly evolving and updating in the hope that it might spark creativity in others.

Initially, Unison also served as a nurturing ground for new residents and smaller creators. By offering free homes to those in need and free shops to burgeoning creators, Wishy and Mia aimed to uplift the community, providing a platform for visibility and growth. Though they’ve had to scale back due to downsizing to half a sim, their commitment to showcasing what can be achieved within Second Life’s limits remains unwavering. Unison stands as a symbol of their journey together, a place where community, creativity, and fun converge, embodying the spirit of collaboration and the endless possibilities that friendship and unity can bring to the virtual world.

Is Second Life Just for Solos? Debunking Myths About Friendships in general

Tunder and I had the opportunity to spend two hours exploring Unison, and oh my, it’s a marvel to witness firsthand. The place is incredible, embodying everything they’ve envisioned—a sanctuary where you can simply hang out, snap some breathtaking photos, or dive into one of their music events. It’s a space that’s not just seen but felt; every corner tells a story. Whether you’re there to soak in the vibes, find inspiration, or just escape the everyday, Unison is undeniably worth the visit.

And it’s what I’ve always envisioned for Aussie Shores too. Sure, it offers lovely homes, but my dream has been to establish it as the go-to Australian destination—not just a place to live, but a place to learn about Australia, to chill, reflect, or find a sense of belonging. Like I’ve said before, Second Life is brimming with opportunities, even for those who don’t consider themselves particularly creative.

Navigating friendships on Second Life is admittedly complex. I’ve been lucky enough to forge connections back in 2008, and even after taking a break from SL in 2009 and returning in 2016, those bonds remained intact. Some of these friends have become part of my life outside of Second Life, with a few I’ve had the chance to meet in person. Despite my hiatus, we managed to keep in touch, albeit sporadically, but the connection was never lost.

Friendships within Second Life, however, operate on a different wavelength, and labeling them as fickle might be a bit harsh. It’s challenging to consider someone a true friend on SL when there’s a veil of anonymity about your real life, leading to a situation where anyone can vanish without a trace, leaving the other person hanging. That said, such dynamics do work for some. I have friends on SL whom I’ve known for years, yet I know nothing of their life outside the virtual world. The desire to keep one’s Second Life and real life separate is understandable, but it’s this very separation that can lead to friendships feeling transient.

Building friendships is a process that requires time, and this isn’t unique to Second Life. The friends we have in real life often stem from long-term connections, many dating back to our school days. When I scroll through my Facebook friends list, I see names of people I’ve known in real life for years. But do I actively communicate with them? Not really. In fact, I removed my birthday from Facebook many years ago because it irked me that these long-time acquaintances would only reach out on my birthday, prompted not by their own recollection but by a social media reminder. The truth is, I have only a select few I converse with regularly.

As for making new friends, it’s become increasingly challenging in general. In my current work environment, I barely know my colleagues beyond a professional capacity, as I’m there to work, not necessarily to make friends. That said, there are a few I get along with and occasionally chat with outside of work hours. I had a friend at work once; we would chat and hang out outside of our jobs. But the day she left the job was also the day our friendship seemed to end.

Rekindling the joy, creativity, and friendships on Second Life doesn’t mean we have to entirely forego the shopping sprees and sales that sprinkle our virtual existence. It’s about finding a balance that allows for both commerce and genuine, enriching interactions. As much as shopping events offer the thrill of discovery and the pleasure of acquisition, they rarely serve as fertile grounds for lasting friendships. In my years of navigating Second Life, my most meaningful connections have never started with a shopping cart. Sure, I’ve bumped into acquaintances while browsing virtual boutiques, exchanged polite hellos even, but those moments seldom evolved into deeper connections.

Here’s the crux of it: friendships, those unpredictable, messy, and utterly human connections, are inherently risky. They require a leap of faith—a willingness to invest time and emotional energy without any guarantee of permanence. And that’s okay. The beauty of a friendship lies in its evolution, the understanding that some people will become cornerstones in our lives while others will be part of our journey for only a season.

So, what can we do to shift the focus back to what truly enriches our Second Life experience?

  • Prioritise Exploration Over Acquisition: Instead of letting the next big sale dictate your in-world itinerary, why not set off on an adventure? Explore new regions, each with its own story and community. The region I mentioned earlier, Unison, built on the principles of creativity and friendship, is a perfect starting point. There’s a whole universe out there, teeming with opportunities for genuine interaction and discovery.
  • Encourage Community Projects: Collaborative projects bring people together in a way that shopping simply can’t. Whether it’s building a shared space, organising a charity event, or starting a creative collective, working towards a common goal can forge strong bonds among participants.
  • Engage in Social Activities: Balance your shopping with activities designed to foster interaction. Attend or organise events that encourage participants to engage with each other—be it a dance party, a group build, or a themed exploration.
  • Foster Open Communication: I’m not suggesting we abandon shopping altogether; rather, let’s not allow it to overwhelm us. It’s about stepping out of our comfort zones, being proactive in our quest for connections. If you’re busy or not in the mood to chat, a simple, friendly auto-response can go a long way. And remember, not getting an immediate reply isn’t the end of the world. Persistence is key, but know when it’s time to move on.
  • Curate an Inviting Profile: The art of creating a welcoming Second Life profile is about balance and approachability. Instead of listing dos and don’ts or sounding passive-aggressive, focus on what draws people together. Mention interests that might spark a conversation or share something quirky about your avatar. If you’re hesitant to share real-life details, a simple mention of your timezone or favorite Second Life activities can suffice. Remember, your profile is your virtual handshake. It’s the first step to showing potential friends you’re open to genuine connections without oversharing or setting too many barriers. Making your profile an inviting space encourages others to reach out, laying the groundwork for friendships that could enrich your Second Life experience.

Building friendships requires not just effort but also trust. And yes, sometimes friendships don’t last; people drift apart. I had a close friend for years, and after a disagreement, we went our separate ways, despite him knowing a lot about my real life. It’s part of life, not the end of the world.

Diving into my friends list for a chat has been wild, kind of like scrolling through a mystery novel where you don’t recognise half the characters. Turns out, I’m the go-to for tenants who think adding me makes life easier. I’m not quick on the unfriend trigger—unless our chats feel like I’m talking to my own echo. A couple of “hi’s” without a peep back? Time to trim the list! It’s nothing personal, just keeping my virtual social circle a bit more, well, social.

I’m all about the balance between being Miss Social Butterfly and enjoying some quality me-time. My life’s a non-stop adventure—when I’m not in dreamland, you’ll find me writing anything from novels to movies, diving into video games, or just hanging with my grown-up kiddos and a tight-knit crew of pals. Xbox time? Oh, it’s less about the game and more about zapping aliens with my friends—best therapy session ever.

Then there’s my other half, living in a timezone that’s basically Narnia. We’re those social butterflies who also treasure our cocooning moments. Some nights, it’s just me, a TV binge, and the thrilling world of inventory management. And yeah, I’m that person with the auto-response who sometimes forgets to hit “reply.” Oops! But hey, a little nudge never hurt. Friends don’t let friends fall into the black hole of unread messages, right?

A while back, I stirred up some fun with Chatterboxes sessions. For those scratching their heads, Chatterboxes are these themed games popping random questions to spark conversation. They’re dotted around my estate like little campfires for gathering and gabbing. I turned these into a bit of a shindig. Some residents jumped in on Voice, others preferred typing—no stress, all smiles. It was a blast. If anyone’s up for a round or two, I’m all ears. Plus, there were those impromptu chill sessions on Magnetic Island with a buddy—just five minutes of zen with mindfulness cards. Simple moments, but oh, so precious.

Is Second Life Just for Solos? Debunking Myths About Friendships in general

In the grand tapestry of Second Life—and really, any aspect of our lives—friendships are the threads coloured by the effort we’re ready to weave in. They require us to leap, to wait, and sometimes to let go, knowing well that not every thread will stay. Yet, the depth and vibrancy they add to our lives are beyond measure.

Just before we wrap up, it’s worth mentioning that friendships, like any meaningful relationship, can require a fair bit of work. Personally, I find myself feeling a bit drained if I’m surrounded by too many people at once. Don’t get me wrong—I’m all for catching up over coffee or something casual. But I recall this one friend I had in real life; it was almost a daily chorus of “Let’s go here” or “Let’s do that,” and every single weekend was booked solid. Then, as soon as she found herself a boyfriend, it was radio silence on her end… until, of course, they split. It really drives home the point that we’re all wired differently. Learning to enjoy your own company is crucial, and it’s okay to let friendships evolve naturally.

So, what’s your take? Have you found your tribe in Second Life, or are you still on the hunt for those connection-worthy moments? Maybe you’ve got a Chatterbox story of your own or a secret spot for those quick mindfulness breaks. Drop a comment below—I’d love to hear about the friendships you’ve forged and the adventures you’ve stumbled upon. Let’s share the spots that make Second Life our go-to place for not just fun, but for finding our people.

And don’t forget to drop by Unison.

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