I shared this story with the ISL group and was reminded of one of our earlier members. Mike was a brilliant and accomplished writer who happened to be 450 lbs. He had multiple health issues and worked from home. In SL, he was fit and handsome and could do all the activities that he couldn't do in RL. He found a SL girlfriend and had the virtual wedding and homestead. ( Mike had a gastric bypass operation, lost 200lbs, regained his health and has left SL for many RL adventures.)
We never know what story lies behind the avatars we see everyday in SL. Those who come in-world to hurt others and cause drama obviously have RL issues that have made them angry, hate-filled people and I'm sure there are a few psychotic's too but there are many in poor health, disabled, widowed, lonely, etc., people who try to bring a little normality to their lives through SL.
A common profile statement is "I don't mix SL with RL". or "I keep RL and SL separate". That's fine. If you don't want to share your RL information or you escape RL with SL and for those reasons you keep them separate, that's your prerogative. Most times, as we build strong bonds and friendships, RL slips into the conversations. What state we are from, our occupations, marital status, etc. Constant reminders that there are human beings behind each avatar.
The Innovative Second Life group is formed of RL writers, photographers, editors and publishers so we share information and like Mike, we know each other's personal lives as we share publications, print credits and RL accomplishments in our professional field. Several month's ago, we planned a RL meet and greet. We were lucky to find a date that worked into our busy schedules and everyone was able to attend but one (which we had on video chat for much of the weekend). After awhile, it was apparent, that our SL and RL self's, were one in the same. Jack was just as humorous as his avatar. Nik dominated the conversation as she does in SL and Marcus pulled his clever pranks.
Before you judge anyone in SL, remember that it's a human and you don't know what their RL story is.
|Innovative Second Life Group Meet & Greet - April 2015|