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Saturday, April 11, 2009

That SL gossip quicksand could also be sucking away at your soul!

(Preface: Hey, before I start this post, I'd like to say that if you're short on time and/or patience, please skip down to the link and statistics at the bottom. They're pretty fascinating and are sourced from some of the first GOOD PRESS I've read about Second Life in a long time.)

The other day a friend passed along a comment that another *friend* made about me.

(reads that sentence again to see if it made sense . . . OK, barely)

That grapevine comment hurt a little. Actually I dwelled on it for a longer period of time that it deserved. (HELL YES, I'm sort of feeling like an SL exile these days, ironically among people I once felt close to. **plays the electric violin and then chucks it into deep space**)

But then I started dwelling on this question:

Why can I get so stung by a comment that someone makes about my Second Life avatar? -- particularly when I can easily shrug off a comment like, "You used to be someone we loved to hang out with until we lost you to your Second Life - haha," which recently was made by a friend in real life, someone who really knows the real me, not a klutzy loud-mouthed avatar.

(ugh, you may have to read that sentence a couple of times too.)

And ironically, the SL comment that sort of sucked was something along the lines of, "Her blog has gotten kind of weird and annoying now that she feels compelled to mention her real life in every post."

And even more ironically, when I heard that passed-along comment, I was working on a post about how my mom just found my pair of cupcakes underwear in the laundry (yet another humiliating dimension of living with your parents), at which point I got a "My GAWWWWWD, no wonder you're still single -- you're RUNNING AROUND in underwear with CUPCAKES on them!" lecture . . .

Like I'm just running up and down the main street of my city in only my cupcakes underwear, waving a flag that says, "SINGLE!"

. . . which inspired a post about expressing your affection for cupcakes in Second Life to your heart's content, if only so your mom won't find your cupcake-spattered underwear in real life and talk about them in front of your dad at the dinner table.

A few pics, since I took them and I don't wanna waste them!:

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-- I love that Bandeau Dress from MichaMi. It's only 75L and includes turquoise (worn), red, brown and purple options for the top -- and layer options for each piece. 

-- That sparkly gem-studded cupcake purse is from Spoonful of Sugar , which was given to me as a gift by fun designer Juls Rosca when I had a cupcake cushion transaction problem (which she also fixed, of course) at her delicious store. HUGS, Juls!

-- According to my inventory, that Paisley's Cupcake Hat is from The Sock Shop . . . but it's not a sock! 

-- That pose is Zombie from the Goofy Me poses set (100L for the WHOLE SET) at Pffiou!

-- And scattered around me up there are just a few of the damn "booby prize" cupcakes I've won trying to get stuff out of these all-the-rage-now Lucky Cupcakes (below):

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Damn you, Nosotras cupcake!!!! And wow, plunging into one is so ladylike. (No wonder I'm still single.)

*** But anyway, back to gossip and worlds colliding! ***

I don't mean for this post to sound defensive. I'm just pondering something. So please join me while I ponder.

Once I heard that way-aforementioned comment, my first instinct was to think, "Yeah, maybe I need to tone down the real-life references a little."

But then I thought, "HEY, scrooooo that! Maybe I'll be The Blogger Who Does That," because in all seriousness, why are most of us IN Second Life if not to make an impact on our real lives in some way?

There are some of you who get royally p*ssed whenever people refer to Second Life as a "game." If that's the case, then it must mean more to you than just an extended session of online RP gaming. It's gotta be touching your SOUL somehow, right?

Maybe you're here to make personal connections, spend time with a loved one, run a business to pay your real life bills, show off your scripting and building talents, share your art, etc., etc., etc. and a million more etcs. 

Maybe this place has saved your life. Maybe it has healed a wound. Maybe you met your one true love here. Maybe you made a million RL bucks here. (If so, I bet you're not converting all that to lindens.)

Whatever the reason, you can't deny that the effects circle back to your real life. So if you're an SL blogger, what's wrong with talking about real life occasionally -- or hell, even frequently, if that's your thing?

And maybe that IS my thing! YES! That's my thing, people! I'm officially proclaiming it to be my thing!

I'm not gonna go so far as to spatter this blog with real pics. Or even post as my real self, which prolific blogger Kelli does over on City Zen. I will admit, when I first saw Kelli's pretty and real photo next to her City Zen blog, it stopped me in my tracks for a minute. Not judging, just saying, "Wow, that's something new."

*shudder* I can't imagine posting my real pic as my blogging avatar. Why would I want to post about my virtual adventures as THIS:

Photobucket    (LOL, I just "spattered.") 

MY! What big teeth, square jaw and boozy, strained smile you have!! (For the record, my friend next to me kept trying to throw me off my photo game by squeezing my Aqua boob.) That also was the week that I accidentally plucked out half my right eyebrow. Oops!

-- when I could be the new-and-improved THIS?!:

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Note the lack of roots and notable absence of red-wine-induced skin blotch! Much better! (Skin: Phoebe 002 by Lazolli -- $1L)

(Hey, I recently discovered those do-it-yourself photo studios and had a glorious time messing around (not like that) at Dickens Free Photography Studio. Fun backgrounds and lotsa poses, including that one up there. And free, though I left a generous donation. That shirt is Laila Sheer Shirt in Coffee, also from MichaMi and YES, I'm addicted to her yummy textures at unbelievably affordable prices.)

This blog is getting waaaay too long (what a surprise) but I'll leave you with these statistics which ran in this health article, "How Second Life Affects Real Life," (click that link!) from the May, 12, 2008, edition of TIME magazine. I'm sure this info has been blogged before (maybe even by me), but new people come in every day, so here it is again:

-- According to Stanford University's Virtual Human Interaction Lab (VHIL), the proven real-life phenomenon of self-perception resulting in significant effects on actual behavior also applies in the virtual world.

-- The lab's research shows that the qualities you acquire online -- self-confidence, an outgoing personality, nurturing or the sense of being nurtured -- also can spill over into the real world, often subconsciously.

-- Even 90 seconds of engaging in positive avatar interaction online is long enough to evoke short-term behavioral changes in the real world.

-- In a controlled study (meaning some poor suckers had to look fugly), subjects who spent time in world as attractive avatars obviously displayed more confidence, friendliness and extroversion while they were in world. Later, those same people displayed self-assurance in stage two of the study, which included a a real-world dating exercise. (Read the article to also read how having a taller article affected real-life self-perception.)

I wonder what the real-life subconscious effects are if you take some Exile hair, blow it up into gigantic Southern proportions, and run around in world wearing a Smurf T-shirt and really raised eyebrows?:

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(I'm too lazy to pose on Saturdays.)

-- Fitness: In another controlled study, one group watched their lookalike avatars run on treadmills for almost six minutes. (The other two groups lounged around, and watched avatars who looked nothing like them exercising, respectively.) The people in the first group later exercised more in real life than the participants in the other two groups.

(Emerald runs to make a more realistic-looking AV and watch her run on a treadmill.)

I'm guessing the opposite applies as well. People who engage in frequent SL catty wars, smack-talking, confrontations, "drama" (gawwd, I am so over that stupid word), and accidental face-plants into murky gossip quicksand probably end up feeling a little crappy in real life too.

Or at least I do.

So let's go out there and spread some love and friendship around. Tell people how awesome they are. Lift each other up. Together, we can all join avatar forces and finally manifest a giant wave of WORLD PEACE!

Or maybe something close. 

(I swear I stopped smoking weed in my early 20s.)

You are all fabulous!

14 comments:

Eliza Wrigglesworth said...

You ARE awesome. See, I can spread love : )

How do you accidently pluck out half of and eyebrow? LOL

Emerald Wynn said...

I just get crazy and carried away with the plucking until suddenly it's half gone.

Now I go get them professionally waxed.

You are awesome too, Eliza. And so is your LOL profile pic!

Bella said...

Emmy,
I love all your posts wacked out crazy, rl filled it doesn't matter!! You've inspired me in more ways then i could ever share and I thank you for that! You are an amazing person.
Bella

Randie Jigsaw said...

The way your blog conveys your real personality is exactly what I love about it. It makes Emerald Wynn real rather than just an another avatar.

I don't see second life as a separate world, it's an extension of everything we are.

Thank you for being you and sharing the things you share.

Meara Deschanel said...

Em, I love you. I hope you never stop writing. **hugs**

Emerald Wynn said...

/me screams, "MEARA COME BACK!" and hugs Bella and welcomes Randie (cool name!) and gives her a big hug too.

Thank you. *a happy face*

Lizzie Lexington said...

YAY! You know my opinion on this Emerald. And oh btw did you know I am also Elizabeth Hallstrom? LOL

V said...

Don't ever change :) I like you just the way you are!! If you turned into just another avatar in the blogosphere, I'd stop reading your blog- your reality is what keeps me coming back for more Em :)

Eevie L.

Kelli Leitner said...

OMG EM !!! lol

Kelli Leitner said...

Well ok now that I have expressed my exclaimation
I can now go on to actually say something. Yes I post as me. It is me and Me is it :) Em auntie Em auntie Em it is for the colored world on the other side of the rainbow that I go and i go and its off to work I go. Ok so I am misxing up fantisies here so what its SL you can do whatever. Yes I use it as an emotional outlet. Remember this it is the healthy mind that can find a healthy outlet. So I guess I am a healthy soul :) Speaking of Souls I have a gripe about the BLoodlines. You apparently can never get your sould back. What is that. Even in the RL fantasy movies you can when you kill the vampire that bit you or somthing like that. Let's get a protest going. I am a vamp and I like it but maybe someday I might not want to nad there is no reprieve.

Ok I write to much as it is. I guess I am the Rambler :) I may start to sign my items like that :)

Krissy Muggleston said...

Ok Em... I think Kelli might give you a run for your money in the random blog post category.. haha Juuuust kidding! Kelli you are funny! And Emerald I love your attitude. It's a great thing to be stubborn!

Emerald Wynn said...

Methinks Kelli hits the bong occasionally?

LMAO!

Thanks, Kelli! <3

Tristan Micheline said...

Em <3 Your posts are amazing and actually inspire me to (think about writing) write stuff that I wouldn't normally and for that I thank you. Also for being my friend, and being full of win, funny, and lots more but you get the idea.. Keep up the great work please. Your awesome makes a big difference in my world, be it SL or RL, and i wouldn't want that to ever change.

/me fangirls you bunches with some added glompage and hopes to see you soon

<3 much love,
Tris

Stacey er..Bettye said...

\o/