By now you know me. I will study and think and ponder an issue until I can reach a place where I feel I understand it. I’ve been having great difficulty with people saying “SL is full of THESE people” or “SL is full of THOSE people” or “Everyone I meet in SL behaves SUCHandSUCH”. But I don’t SEE that. I”m not denying that THESE and THOSE and SUCHandSUCH exist. I’m saying that my world is NOT oriented that way. First I got annoyed – stop painting me with your brush. But then I wanted to understand WHY we are all so sure that our view of the world is correct. So I’ve been chatting and emailing with friends.
I’ve heard some very interesting takes on what kinds of people come to virtual worlds, what kind of people come to SL specifically. Almost all the conversations I’ve had contained at least one insight that helped me understand more clearly why I don’t recognize YOUR world. The following idea comes from a friend who declined to guest blog. She told me to take her email and present it. So that is what I am doing. *grin* I take no credit for these ideas, but I will say that they resonate with me, and perhaps I can finally let this topic rest.
What I would suggest is related back to Rheta Shan’s blog on why people come to SL–that they find something they need. And I would also suggest that the friends they make are related to what they need. So for example, one person finds other people who, like him, need a few hours/day to escape from some trauma or issue in their RL which is so overwhelming that it colors their entire real world. Of COURSE those people would be friends–who else would REALLY “understand” him, and thus “connect” with him long-term? He has undoubtedly met MANY people who do not fit his paradigm, but they aren’t his friends, they are just other people in the same room.
You, Ahuva, found a business environment which you saw as an opportunity to enrich your RL business environment (with which you have been bored and underutilized by for years). You connected with people who are creating the kinds of things YOU would like to create–not the concrete things, per se (i.e. a specific business product) but a “bigger picture”. So it’s no accident that the friends YOU made are very intelligent, high-achieving, creative people who are inventing new ways to interact in a business environment and expanding the opportunities for others to do the same. Those were the people YOU needed to have in your life, hence those are the people you found, and friended.
People find what they need. If they have been damaged and need friends who understand them, then they find other damaged people. If they need to be loved and appreciated and desired, they find a lover. (Obviously so many people need this, that is why the Internet is renowned for sex!) If they need a challenge, they find a challenge. The posts and comments say more about the people who write them than they say about SL.
I think that her words make sense to me. We find what we need. We may need more than one thing, so we will have many friends. But we fill our world with what we need. Our world is what we make it. We all have a different view out our front door.