It’s been a tough couple of months for me… tons of work, tons of real life demands on my time, tons of travel. I miss writing here, but I also realize that with so little time spent in SL, I have little to contribute to this discussion, which was always supposed to be about my second life.
So going from a full-time SLer (4+ hours a night) to a *really* part-time SLer (logging in a couple of times a week at most) practically cold-turkey has taught me an important lesson:
SL is a harsh mistress.
There *is* no such thing as part-time SL. If you can’t make the time commitment, you can’t keep the relationships which make SL so valuable. As a part-timer, your scope of options becomes more limited. You can’t get involved in long-term projects or relationships because you’re only in for a bit; you can’t keep up with the topics or the conversation, even. It’s tough to engage with people who are full-timers, because you can’t relate as well to the minutia of everyday life in SL anymore — the relationships, the events, the bugs, the (face it) drama.
So, in isolation, you wander around… explore, shop, hang around with old friends for a bit. And then you get bored, and log out. It becomes a vicious cycle.
I don’t know how to half-live my second life. I know the good things it’s done for me, and the wonderful people I love so much who are still there, but I also just can’t find the will to engage anymore on that same level as before. I miss that feeling, but I also know that moderation is good for me, in this case.
It’s a complicated time for me at the moment. My son is at his most precious age ever and I don’t want to miss that. The season is obviously demanding in terms of commitments and errands; and spending Christmas vacation essentially offline (no Internet for two weeks? I’m going to die.) means that the outlook for SL time isn’t going to improve soon.
I don’t know if it’s a self-reinforcing filter, but it seems like SL is going through a tidal change at the moment. Not necessarily among my friends, but it seems like a renewal is happening. Oldbies (omg I’m one of them) are leaving, or disengaging, or reducing their involvement. Friends have sold land they had for years, or closed their SL businesses. Maybe it’s a natural trend in SL, and I’m only just noticing it in my old age. Or maybe something’s changed, that has changed the value of SL for many people who formerly got a great deal more from it. (the constant stream of problems posted daily on the official Linden blog surely wouldn’t be a motivator for that, would it?)
I promised Bethy I wasn’t leaving, and especially not suddenly (her exact words were, “pulling a Bombi”. You know who you are out there, folks. 🙂 ), and I really don’t want to. But I need to resolve the dilemma of doing this on a part-time basis in a way that still has value to me and still feeds all that I used to get out of SL.
I’m not making threats; I’ve been accused of that before and it’s not my style. But this blog has always been an outlet for my feelings, and lately I’ve needed to be able to get these things off my chest. Things will play out as they must, and I’ll most likely still be around in some fashion, as there is too much water under the bridge to just let it go like that.