I’ve been pondering the past few days over the secondary effects of this profound addiction I have. I had a RL event on Saturday with friends I hadn’t seen in several months. From the moment I arrived I was criticized for being antisocial and just not available to hang out anymore. I felt out of place, and since there were many people I didn’t know, I just sort of hovered the whole time, kind of waiting for my time to be up so I could go home and get comfortable (and hang out with “regular” people) in SL.
But to be honest, nothing could be further from the truth. How do I explain that far from being antisocial, I’ve actually become *ultrasocial*, but only in my Second Life? I have no problem meeting and talking to new people in SL, either. I just don’t feel like relating to RL people sometimes (more of the time than is probably healthy for me, I guess). I like the elegant shorthand of IM and the direct connections that I get in Second Life. I find my friends more interesting here, perhaps because they don’t come with the baggage of a RL (isn’t that the basis of many of the relationships in SL too?). Preconceived notions of how one should behave, what’s appropriate to say, proscribed humor — I get to do away with all of those in my second life. Just be true to yourself.
I live in a relatively ritualized society. We all have roles, and we’re expected to live within them. My friends, people who’ve known me for years, expect me to behave in a consistent fashion — no sudden breaks, no radical changes. At my age (and stage in life — motherhood, baby and whatnot), I’m expected to have settled down, to have settled into a routine, to play my roles and go through the right motions.
I hate being described or predictable. I hate fitting into a box. I profoundly dislike being normal and people expecting me to remain that way. I don’t want to conform. I need to grow, to change, to develop, to discover new sides of myself. I get bored so easily: with music, with situations, with work, with people and with myself; I *need* change to not go nuts.
I break out in second life (which I guess was the original point of the whole thing, wasn’t it), and get a lot of what I need. The velocity of the whole thing just suits me. I love that raging current of change that sweeps through second life, that keeps things vital and challenging and exciting. I am true to myself, because I made myself over again from scratch here.
I wonder if my issue is with RL people so much as being about the need to make significant changes in my life. Because me and only me is responsible for having gotten myself into this position; SL has shown me how much more I need to feel closer to complete.
P.S. – In the course of writing this bit of fluff, I read (ok, skimmed to read later) Extropia DaSilva’s amazing essay on Gwyn’s blog. Feeling petty now for this whiny post. I’ll publish anyway, and deal with my shame privately… lol