Posted in General, Opinion, Second Life

Lack of engagement

Inara Pey recently blogged on the state of Second Life, and her comments on ‘Engagement’ and general malaise struck a real chord with me.

In the 5½ years I have been in SL, I’ve experienced the usual ebb and flow of interest that I think most long-timers do, but I’ve found myself in a particularly long ebb lately, to the extent that I felt I was mainly logging on in order to be with my SL hubby. He had been feeling much the same, and sadly a few weeks ago announced to me that a number of factors, including increased workload, RL, and this same lack of engagement, meant he did not know when he would next be logging into SL again. We’d been together well over a year, which is a long time in Second Life terms. We still email each other every day (he never fails to leave an email for me when he goes to bed so that it is waiting for me when I wake up), but I have no idea when I will see him again in SL.

Since then I have gone from logging in every day to rarely logging in, and when I do log in it’s been for a specific reason such as a music event (usually the wonderful Gina Gracemount or the amazing Tukso Okey) or to spend time with my friend Bunny. But most of the time, I find that other things are holding my interest more. My own RL has got a little busier and is filling my evenings more, such that I don’t have as much time available to spend on SL. But the fact is that if I was bursting to go on SL, like I once was, then I know I would find the time. So this really corroborates what Inara is saying.

Perhaps I should be trying to find new things in SL to experience, maybe increase my circle of friends, perhaps try to re-ignite my love of SL photography. But I just find myself without any real motivation to do so. My SL photography is particularly depressing, because I can take ages (hours, even) over a SL picture and then find myself lucky to get 200 views in a month, yet with my RL photography I can post a picture of me in a nice dress and get 200 views in a day. I’m not saying that in a self-aggrandising way, but to illustrate how soul-destroying that is for the SL photography. I have a very similar experience with blogging.

So where does this leave me, where does it leave my SL, my SL photography and also this blog? I don’t know. Certainly this is the first time since August 2012 where I’ve felt I have had anything I wanted to say and I don’t know when I next will either.

4 thoughts on “Lack of engagement

  1. I think these phases are common, especially for long-timers. For newbies, lack of engagement would respond to other reasons, but in the case of people who are there for a long time, SL becomes a routine. On the other hand, it is still impressive that SL has been having people’s attention for 4, 5, 6 years! Even if there are some phases of lower engagement, i think it still has “something” – and this “something” is what keeps attracting me back there. (Actually, i think there are many “somethings”, including the SLers, which tend to be amazing!)

  2. I renewed my enthusiasm for SL after much of 2012 seeing me in the doldrums, by simply grabbing the Destination Guide and heading out into the wide, blue yonder and snapping snaps and trying to (very slowly) improve my limited skills in virtual photography. Along the way it has naturally lead to meeting new friends and getting involved in various activities – and allowed me to touch base with some old SL hobbies once more.

    It’s not always easy to get started (and I do count myself luckier than some, as I very much enjoy my own company & at time seek to simply get out on my own anyway), but once started and with a few “finds” under your belt, it tends to bring out the explorer and encourage you to dabble more and prod at things you may have previously ignored (in my case, flying aeroplanes and sailing a boat!).

  3. Hi, Becca, As you may recall, I used to follow you, strictly on Flickr (my desultory tries at SL were inadequate, given my tech limitations). In particular, I played with Suzy and you, just an innuendo here and there — but fun!

    I read your insightful comments here from a few weeks ago, and agree with everything you and your friends wrote. I also photo-blog, so I have seen similar ups and downs there.

    I wanted to re-post an amusing shot of you and Suzy, which I found on my LJ from 2010. Naturally, Flickr didn’t let that happen, so I turned it into a hopefully interesting LJ post

    Anyhow, lovely to catch up — now must try to find Suzy to say hello there.

    Hugz, Justine

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