I recently came across this blog post by Meri via the Second Life Community Blogs forum. In it, Meri explained why she hasn’t been blogging much lately, and included a ‘womanifesto’ that she’s going to follow. She included a YouTube video taken in Second Life, that I’ll link to below.
I too am guilty of letting this blog go quiet. To be honest, my own Second Life activity has been reduced of late, as I’ve had to focus my time and energy on keeping myself healthy and sane during the ongoing Coronavirus lockdown.
I’m going to quote some of what I wrote to Meri in response to her post:
I used to be a member of DeviantArt back in the 2000s, and Slashdot prior to that, and those were my first experiences of the anxiety that can be caused by focussing on the ‘numbers’ – likes, comments, etc. That was an early lesson I learnt, that those numbers are ultimately meaningless. What matters are the friends you meet along the way, the discussions that are sparked, and the joy of discovery.
I now have a simple rule – my health and happiness come first, followed by family and friends, with Second Life being something I dip into when I want to. I think that’s the mistake that a lot of people are making, giving the virtual world too much priority.
That last paragraph is equally applicable if you swap out Second Life for Facebook, Twitter or any social network or online community.
Listening to Meri going through the five parts of her ‘womanifesto’, I was nodding in agreement, because they are all applicable to my situation and the internal struggles I’ve had with myself over the years.
So here is my ‘alienifesto’, named because I’m a blue speckly alien. 😛
- I don’t have to try to be anything other than myself.
- I don’t have to please anyone other than myself.
- Friendships count more than possessions or titles.
- I do what I do for enjoyment, not for points or prestige.
- All this is fleeting, so best to pass on good memories to others.
If you’ve seen my avatar, then you know that I don’t follow the crowd, I forge my own look and identity in Second Life. And that gives me a lot of pleasure.
The part about people-pleasing… that was a tough one to wean myself off of, but I’ve done it now.
And the possessions part? Yeah, I’m still clearing out lots of unwanted cruft from my Second Life inventory, and trying to reign in how much new stuff I acquire. That’s tough for me, because retail therapy is a great comfort, but I’m getting there.
Likewise, I do work for Gorean Whip Radio when I’m able to, and only then. If I need to take time out, I’ll do so.
That last point? At some point in time, hopefully long from now, Second Life will be gone and my avatar there will go with it. But I’ll still have the memories of the times I had there, and I hope that my friends will too. 🙂
I hope you are all well. Please, stay safe and take care of yourself and each other.