Every now and then I get to thinking about general trends in human behaviour, and occasionally a specific incident will prompt me to talk about it. This time, it's pretty simple stuff, communication and entitlement, particularly within a virtual environment, such as our wonderful Second Life.
In my mind, IMs in Second Life are exactly the same as phone calls. I am always happy to hear from friends, from work colleagues, from customers who need some assistance. But, I *never* want to buy double glazing or life insurance or a good time... sadly, a lot of folks in Second Life seem to think that just because you can see somebody's name tag that gives them the right to barge right in unannounced and offload THEIR agenda. It doesn't. End of story.
Let's pretend you see somebody and you think their outfit is amazing and you'd like to compliment them on it. Now, in real life, you wouldn't yell across the room at them, would you? No, of course not, you're far too sensible. When was the last time you heard somebody yelling down the freezer aisle of the supermarket "Oi! Thingy! You in the red dress! Love the shoes, where did you get them?!" Never, that's when.
So, you wouldn't yell across the room at a complete stranger. Good, we agree on that. Would you phone them up out of the blue (assuming you could find their number in the first place)? No, of course not, that's ridiculous. Imagine how that conversation would go.
"Hi, you don't know me but I like your shoes."
If you were indeed so intent on delivering your doubtless well meaning compliment, you would get close enough to the person to talk normally without invading their personal space and say "Great shoes", with a smile, and wait to see what happens next.
And yet. Every. Single. Day. I get phonecalls (IMs) out of the blue from people I have never met. Let me be clear here, approach makes a huge difference.
"Hi, sorry to IM you out of the blue, but I really love your shoes, do you mind me asking where you got them?" is far more likely to get a pleasant response from me than...
"NICE outfit babe"
What happens next is where it gets interesting. I state clearly in my profile that I am happy to hear from folks in IM about business matters (either Velvet Thorn or Evelock related) but for anything else to use local. And further that unsolicited IMs will be ignored without exception.
People don't always read profiles, I understand that. But, if I IM someone and don't get a response I check their profile to see if there's maybe a clue in there. Lots of builders are afk huge amounts of the time for example, no big deal. I'm starting to think I might be alone in checking profiles, but hey ho.
So let's talk about entitlement. And let's be blunt about it.
Nobody, not one single person on the surface of the planet has any entitlement to even a second of my attention without express and direct invitation, or a damn good and compelling reason (spoiler alert: you needing to have me be your walking wank mag is not a compelling reason, nor a good one). And that goes double for a virtual world, where I tend to come to ESCAPE being bothered by people.
If I'm about to be run over and yelling at me might stop it, go ahead and shout, I will appreciate it. If I'm sitting quietly on my own, or wandering around some place on my own (brace yourselves, this may come as a shock)... this is NOT an invitation to talk to me, to project your nasty, selfish little fantasies onto me, to invade my personal space and expect me to be flattered by your attention, to suggest that I might want to fuck you or dance with you or "just have a friendly drink" with you.
Just NO. Fuck off. Fuck right off. And when you're done fucking off, fuck right off again, twice as far. And no, that is not a challenge. I am not waiting for the right person to complete me. I am not secretly hoping that someone will shake me out of my bad mood and make me the woman I "should" be. I am complete and content exactly as I am, thank you, I only need people to stop being idiotic, rude, entitled louts in my direction for my life to be perfect.
If you really can't let the moment pass without doing something, smile, or say hi... but do not make the mistake of *expecting* a response. And, if you do get a response, most likely an awkward half-smile, that (again, brace yourselves) is NOT an invitation to move onto the sleaze fest I just described. It means I acknowledged your presence, that's all, nothing more. Believe me when I say that if I am interested in you or what you have to say you will know about it.
Here are a few clues... I might put down what I'm looking at and make eye contact. I might say "Hi, nice day." I might ask how you are. If I do none of these things, I. AM.NOT. INTERESTED. Go the fuck away and leave me the hell alone.
I hope that's clear. Thank you so much for your time and attention. If you think this might help someone you know, feel free to share it. If you think it might help someone who is bothering you and needs to learn this, feel free to print it out, wrap it round a brick and hit them over the head with it (Joking! No, not really, well, okay, yes joking, but you know it would be so satisfying).
I hope all your lives are treating you well,
Bright blessings, Eve :)