I’ve said I’d try and pick up on some of the news items while Ella is snowed under with work. She’s the expert on picking up RL stories that might impact on an SL level and I’ve never tried to ‘theorise’ around anything like this before so excuse me if it all goes to hell in a handcart.
Whisper, a ‘secret sharing app’ I’d never heard of before, has asked its users to reveal the worst response they got when they told someone they loved them.
This made me think there might be circumstances where this happens in Second Life too. I’ve never been in a long-term relationship in SL, and never been in a situation where I’ve thought ‘I must log in just to see if they’re online’. I’m also certain that I’ve never had anyone log in to see if I’m online, although I’ve had friendships in SL that I’ve pulled the plug on and unfriended the person because I couldn’t log in without them always wanting to start a chat, particularly where it’s obvious the purpose of the chat was to lead to pixel sex and probably no further contact thereafter. Just move on to the next girl.
But people fall in love via SL. I’ve known people who met inworld and got married in RL. I would think there are loads of people who have started relationships in SL while being in a real world relationship, whether married, engaged or going out. I would find this weird, to be in love in real life (or maybe not in love, but still married and unhappy) and also be in love with someone who projects quite possibly a false representation of themselves in Second Life. There will also be hundreds of SL relationships/partnerships that have eventually foundered. So how do people say ‘goodbye, forever, I don’t love your avatar anymore, I’ve met someone else with bigger prim boobs’?
Do people say ‘the cybersex is now boring, I’m dissolving our partnership and unfriending you’? Do they start with an alt in order to simply ‘kill off’ their main avatar so they don’t need to say ‘hi’ to the person they’ve been partnered to for x months/years? How do people end those partnerships? Will they be as cold as those responding on the Whisper app?