Wanna date me?

It's Never Too Early to Be Trendy.png

A few nights ago someone suggested that Second Life Profiles were akin to Tinder profiles. Actually, suggested isn’t really the correct word here because this person didn’t really suggest at all, they delivered more of an unyielding statement.

I didn’t save the conversation, I was a bit too tired and in the end it all sort of fizzled out with no real conclusion following a bit of a half hearted back and forth in entirely the wrong setting. People were doing that polite thing they do, trying to deflect the awkwardness and change the subject with humour. I noticed it however it was entirely too late, I was all in. In truth I’m a little frustrated at myself for reacting, especially in a place where I care about what the folk think (which is in itself an unusual state of affairs). I’m usually more controlled. Occasionally however I’ll experience a little flare of annoyance which will overcome my better judgement and propel me head long into a discussion (okay, okay an argument). This tends to happen when someone says something that I feel affects me personally or when someone lumps me in with the general populous, or when a person presumes to tell me about me (and gets it wholly wrong in the process) or when folk refuse to acknowledge that their viewpoint, although completely valid, is possibly not the only viewpoint in the entire metaverse.  And sometimes, like the night in question, when they pull the rabbit out of the hat and manage tick off them all I can’t help but respond.

So what was it which ignited this little outpouring? Hmm, well, it was, of all things, Tinder. You know, the dating app? Of course you do. Tinder…tinder also means something else doesn’t it? The noun predates that horrible little application and the irony of it’s definition isn’t lost on me.

I guess you want to know what was actually said about Tinder though? I mean, I don’t love the thing however I’m not so mental that just the mere mention of the app will illicit such a response.  So let me fill you in; it was asserted that everyone’s profile  on SL (and therefore my profile) was akin to a Tinder profile.  That our words and pictures were little more than advertisements, that by creating a profile, by filling in our  little boxes we were effectively marketing ourselves to all and sundry. Putting ourselves out there, as people do on Tinder, creating a dating profile as it were. Tinder… where people are trying desperately to sell themselves in the hope of snaring a …a what exactly? A partner?  A quick shag ?  Something involving someone else certainly.

Now I get that point of view, really I do. In fact I largely agree with it. A lot of SL profiles are exactly that after all. A way of reaching out, of connecting. However that isn’t the case for everyone and it certainly isn’t the case for me. I don’t want randoms perusing my profile, I certainly don’t want them to contact me. I can’t be bothered with it. I mostly can’t be bothered with anything. When I do jot stuff down in my profile I’m not fishing for …someone. The things I write tend to be little musing I make up, or things I’ve seen that I felt I wanted to keep around a bit … or sometimes, just sometimes a personal message to a dear friend someone I’ve likely known years and years and years, someone important to me.  Occasionally it’s a heart felt message to someone who has affected me in some way.  The key thing is, I never do it to sell myself to people. That’s the last thing I’d want to do.  It’s never marketing, never advertising (as was suggested). I don’t even think I’m worth buying truth be told so the thought would never enter my head.

I was trying to explain this all but … it’s difficult to discuss something with someone who, for whatever reason isn’t willing to absorb any other viewpoint bar their own. To realise that there is never a one size fits all…

I ended up calling the person a despotic. A bit harsh maybe. Childish even. I do like to deride those who have to resort to insults and yet ..sometimes I still revert to name calling myself. I like to think I’m a little more enlightened, a little better these days but I guess old habits die hard.

The person took it well, messaging me later to say ‘Here’s why I’m not despotic:CAUSE I SAY SO!’

Haha. I don’t think they really give a shit. I dunno why I do.

Mad Girl’s Love Song

Screen Shot 2019-06-23 at 14.58.56.png

“I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

God topples from the sky, hell’s fires fade:
Exit seraphim and Satan’s men:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I fancied you’d return the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least when spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)”

Sylvia Plath

Socialising in SL

Companions loops.png

I had a bad week at work. Everything that could go wrong had gone wrong and I had never been more glad to see the beginning of the weekend. Two glorious days when people wouldn’t call me, mail me, instant message me. I don’t recall driving home. Do you every do that? Get in your car, start the engine and then realise you’ve arrived right in front of your house with no memory at all of how you got there?  Like you were on autopilot the full way,  aware yet not. I locked the car, unlocked the door to my house, smiled a little at my two little fur babies who always wait at the door to welcome me home, I tickled them just where they like it; behind her ears (the girl) and on his tummy (the boy), then crumpled onto the sofa exhausted.

I was meant to go out. I mostly always go out on a Friday night. This Friday night however, I didn’t want to. I mean, I never usually want to, I sort of force myself to do it though, go through the rigmarole of cleaning up, painting, primping, priming, dressing up… morphing into the pretend sociable butterfly persona I sometimes inhabit. Carefully choosing my costume and mask to fit in with all the other social butterflies out and about on the town. I don’t really know why I still do it every week. Thinking about it now I  think I feel like it’s healthier to be out in the world with others than shut inside alone, at least sometimes.  Or maybe it’s because I’d rather avoid the questions that come when I don’t do this ‘ what’s wrong’, ‘are you ok?’, ‘should we come round to yours?’ (god no, please no). The conversations I imagine they’d have about me. I hate people talking about me. It’s just easier to be a sheep for a little while. And when I’m actually out I do enjoy the company of these people, they are funny, clever, a little crazy. I wouldn’t spend time with people I didn’t like. I can’t. So I keep doing it because I know, if I can get there it will be okay even though every single week my mind rebels against the notion and even if I do still feel a little detached in the company. There and part of it but a little separate too. Tonight however I just couldn’t do it. I didn’t want to. I’d had a shitty week of it and I just wanted to stay in, alone, in my jammies and drink nice red wine so I decided to do just that.

After a while I got bored watching netflix so I logged into SL.  I have a friend, a kind, warm hearted, funny Portuguese guy who plays music on a Friday night and whose set I hardly ever get to hear (and I love his sets) so I was looking forward to being able to listen. I  made my way over and I was sitting there waiting for him to start chatting away to another adorable friend when I realised that I had just swapped one sort of socialising for another. Tangible friends for virtual ones.  I had still thought about what I was going to wear, what my hair was like, my little doll’s makeup. I was still in a place with friends, conversing, listening, participating. Was it so very different? In some ways it is. In some ways a night online actually tops a night out in the real world. Your avatar stays perfect looking all evening; no smudged lipstick, alcohol spills all over your clothes, vape fumes in your hair.  It’s much easier to avoid people and definitely much easier to leave. There is no faffing about with taxis home and drawn out good byes,  instead just a quick ‘cheerio!’ and a click of the little x top left. However all in all ..I think its pretty much of a muchness, a place to come together and talk in the same way you would in the real world.

I suppose SL makes a social life possible for many people who can’t get out for whatever reason yet still crave some form of human connection, of collectiveness. That has to be a good thing doesn’t it?

For me,  for now, I think it’s nice to have this other option. This virtual choice to take or leave as I want. And I think its wonderful that it’s finally the weekend. Precious days of peace and procrastination!

I hope you are enjoying yours! x