Saturday, November 23, 2013


Rambling alert! This is a long post. You acknowledge that I cannot be held responsible of your falling sleep over the keyboard and neck damages caused by that if you decide to continue reading. This is a fair warning, placed at the top of the post :o)

When I started writing Relationships i̶n̶ ̶S̶L̶, I promised a "next post" that never came. Instead I published two consecutive posts that had nothing to do. I hadn't realized that the deadlines for all the winter events were so close in time, I needed some time to develop the "next post", and the time had to be used for the new releases.

There was a discussion about that thread in my feed, and I enjoyed it. I'm terribly curious about human behaviour, and people participating added interesting comments, and also jokes. I'm quite glad the discussion happened. It made me think about my own reasons to prefer a not so much public display of myself. Despite of what you've heard around, thinking is always a good thing :-)

Still, some replies in my feed made me wonder if I had made my point across clearly.

I never said I'm against partnerships nor against making it public. The word "hypocrite" wouldn't be good enough to fit me if I said. I also never said I'm against public displays of love and affection. Indeed I said, "I like to see people in love."

What I said was:

Each time we say that this time, this is our love forever, and each time it is not. Each time, forever lasts an average of three weeks, six months for the lucky ones.

Then why make it public each time? What's the purpose? Why do we need to repeat publicly "I love you"? Shouldn't those words be saved only for the one deserving them? Do we want to make everybody else jealous because, this time, we've found "the love of our life"?

Of course, when the bubble bursts, the situation turns ugly. There's the break up, and that alone hurts. There are all the photos that now are telling people "we failed", which adds to the injury. And there will be future photos from your ex, this time with someone else. More pain and resentment.

I would like to understand, why, if we all know this, we continue to expose ourselves constantly, voluntarily, to all the extra pain that could be easily avoided. I, for one, don't get it. I would like to understand. Please feel free to add your comments about.

I realized that two separate things were confused at that point. Probably the confusion came from here, "Why do we need to repeat publicly "I love you"? Shouldn't those words be saved only for the one deserving them?"

Although it may seem that I'm complaining about public displays of love, I'm not. Remember that I said, clearly and openly, "I like to see people in love." The key word here is "context". Those questions came right after I said "Each time we say that this time, this is our love forever, and each time it is not. Each time, forever lasts an average of three weeks, six months for the lucky ones." and so were related to that. Perhaps I should have rewritten my questions to something like this:

You have proven once and again, that every time you've said "I will love you forever", "this time this is my true love forever" (and variants)... You don't really mean it. Shouldn't you be a little more careful when you publicly say something absolute like that? What makes you feel wanting to repeat the routine of publicly exposing your next relationship, again under the "my true love forever" promise, when the odds are against you?

You'll have to trust me in this: despite of my "ice queen" ultra-rational facade, I also feel, and fall in love. I'm human, like you (whether you like it or not), and so I empathize with your feelings, with your need of saying sweet nothings. I understand why it happens. I say those things too. With perhaps one exception. I don't use the word "forever". I don't feel it's appropriate to promise eternity to each and every stranger. But that is my choice.

I feel that the way I've rewritten my questions sounds more like what I had in mind. And still, whether you believe it or not, I have absolutely no issues with your public displays of love. Real love, fake love, RP love, SL love, and many others. Whichever your choice. I'm fine with it. When I have time, I look at it (you make it public!), and when I don't have time, I just use the scroll wheel of my mouse, or simply, don't check the "Trending" tab. I just can't help myself wondering about what motivates repeated behaviours that prove to be harmful.

Anyway, none of this is actually the point of what I wanted to write next, nor my own feelings and situation are. I just felt that since I wasn't clear at that point, I should try again and clarify now.

I wrote Relationships i̶n̶ ̶S̶L̶ with a clear intention in my mind. I wanted to analyze some aspects that I find to be relevant about an incident happening in the SL feed a few weeks ago. I know that some will shake and foam, spitting words of "can't you let it go" and "witch hunt", but I know that a smart reader will realize, I'm not talking about the specific situation even though I will point to details of what happened. Just because things happen too fast on Internet, that doesn't mean I will not be taking my time to think about. I like to develop my own conclusions once I've finished with my thought process, not when the people that want to cover the truth with lies say that I should "let it go".

None of us is born being wise. Even more: when we are born, we are quite vulnerable. Neither our body nor our mind is ready to live in this world. Adults around us, normally our parents, help us grow. They are responsible for our security and our development into adults ourselves. This growing up doesn't happen suddenly. Each one of us develops body and mind at different paces, and differently from anybody else. For example, physically, I was fully developed when I was 10 years old. My mind, I tell you, wasn't as mature as my body looked like. I was still playing with my brother's construction games, and all of sudden I realize that in the event of a violent act, I could be pregnant and have a baby that would tie me forever to a life I didn't want. I can't explain how that thought shook me. I still remember the chill. I felt incredibly small and vulnerable in a world that suddenly started to show quite more dangerous than what I ever thought before my body fully developed. My parents were there. They took right decisions and they also took wrong decisions, but they never gave up their responsibility of making an adult from me.

I can recall that my mind started to also grow up when I was 15 years old. Adolescence is sure a moment of your life where the only certain you have is uncertainty about everything. When I was 15 years old, I was completely aware that even though I could start behaving as an adult, should there were consequences, my parents were legally responsible of my misbehaving. My parents had already taught me that I should always be responsible of what I do, and so I did my best not to cause them trouble. If I burned a public bench, my parents should be the ones paying for it. In my mind, that was unfair. But I understand that law can't be written to cover all the gray areas that exist in the development of a person into their adult state, and so the law needs clear lines to say "adult" and "underage". In many countries, this line is at the age of 18.

I know, it makes no sense that if the week before to be 18, I break something, my parents have to pay for it. There's not that much difference in the person I am from one week to the next. But in what comes to law, that would be a slippery slope to follow. What would be the week that "tells the difference"? So the line is clear. 18. No matter you're a more mature person since you're 16, or you're an eternal immature person even though you're now 50. From the age of 18 (in many countries), if you do something, you pay for it. You're on your own. If you do before, your parents are held responsible. (There are specific felonies where you are held responsible, though. If you think your parents will pay for your killing another, and you'll get away with it because you're 16, think twice.)

Adults should help us to grow up. This means that when we deserve to be scolded, we should be. When we deserve to learn the lesson, we should learn it. My parents never gave me an inch saying "please pity of the poor girl, she's still young, she will learn" when somebody else complained about me. They listened carefully. They never said "my daughter could never [insert whatever you want]" to the person complaining. They looked at me, stern, asking "is this true?", and since I was taught not to lie, I had to nod. They apologized to the person I caused trouble and assured it will never happen again. And oh yes. I was punished for what I did. But nowadays I thank them for those lessons.

The specific lesson they taught me is that ill deeds are ill deeds no matter how old you are, and you deserve no sympathy if you commit them. You deserve the consequences.

The fact that they never rejected somebody else's testimony with a "my daughter would never" also taught me a very valuable lesson. Nobody is sacred, specially when it comes to ill deeds.

Now, on to the SL feed. About three weeks ago, Laurin Sorbet writes in her blog that she doesn't want to interact with underage people in SL. It is a position I share, and I'm sure that many others. Unless I am in PG regions, I assume that people interacting with me are adults. Underage people shouldn't be in mature nor adult sims. I'm not talking about kid avatars, I'm talking about the real person behind the avatar. I don't go to an adult sim to have to bite my tongue and babysit others' offspring: I get employed in a kindergarten for that. My parents already taught me that each one is responsible of their own kids and nobody else's, and that nobody else should do your parenting job. They would have never allowed another adult to give me any advice. While I was growing up, they wanted me with people of my same age.

This means that when an underage person is in an adult sim, we have to think of one between two possibilities. One is that the parents know what the teen is doing, and they let them do. However, because of the nature of adult sims, I'm more inclined to the second possibility: the parents have no idea of what the teen is doing. Which by its own nature, is talking badly about what the teen does. Perhaps the teen is mature enough. I will not discuss that. It's possible. But I don't see that as mature when the act of being in an adult sim is, by definition, breaking LL's TOS if you're underage. When it comes to breaking LL's TOS and performing sexual acts with adults... It doesn't matter how mature the teen is. The law may come into play, and the law will look at the line: under, or above 18?

Some of us didn't know why Laurin was writing what it is common sense, and so asked. In her feed, the situation was clarified.

There was a girl I followed, that used to post nice pictures. She had a previous affair, and she was starting to air the new one, in a fashion like what motivated me to write Relationships i̶n̶ ̶S̶L̶ (Finally! The connection!)

Then, the couple broke up, and the girl received some "hate mail". When said like this, it doesn't look any different than any other of the many breakups you witness in the SL feed, and we quickly think "sheesh the guy" (although I'd like to see the "hate mail", for I've grown bored of the delicate skins that some have). So people sided with the "poor girl" that was "receiving hate", one of her "best friends" published the following:

(I know the person doing this doesn't deserve my consideration, but I have as an habit not to point fingers because it allows to better focus in the issue. BFF means "Best Friend Forever".)

Well. Now this makes everything different than a normal SL-breakup. Keeping aside the fact that this "best friend forever" broke the community standards when publishing the RL age of the girl within the realms of LL (so, a TOS infraction), the situation we have now is that an underage person had been performing (virtual) sexual acts with adults. Two different adults, to my knowledge.

It's none of my business who you decide to be in bed with or how often. But when you're in SL disguised as an adult, even thinking of meeting in RL... That sends chills to my spine. Perhaps you're mature enough to have sex. I will not discuss that. But if your parents/guardian find out, they may think otherwise. And I have the feeling, they are going to disagree about your maturity. But which is worse, they may go against the guy. Perhaps by then you would have confessed the age. Perhaps not. That will not save him from the consequences.

The girl finally cracked and told him the truth about her age before meeting. Honestly, I can understand if the guy was upset. I can understand if he was angry. Probably, that "hate mail" was a mere "what the hell were you thinking of?" Because if they had met, the consequences could have been very ugly for him. He has all the right to be angry, and this "best friend forever" seemed to try to take importance from that. Likely, she didn't expect that some people would react saying "wait, what... did you say... a MINOR?"

This "best friend forever" did what my parents would have never done: "Pity her! She's young! She'll learn!" This minor deserved a lesson. Like not coming back to SL and developing the kind of life a teenager should have. All the "cuddling" and "oh poor you, all the world is against you" will only teach the following lesson to this teenager: lie all you want, for you'll find somebody stupid enough to forgive you and help you get away with your lies. That's the lesson this adult teaches to a teenager. Very mature.

But the history doesn't finish here. Oh no. Once we enter into the realms of absurdity, be ready for Henry the horse dancing the waltz.

The "best friends" had setup another account so the underage person could continue in SL, and gifted it to her. Of course, they didn't seem to read section 4 of TOS, where it says:

You may not sell, transfer or assign your Account or its contractual rights, licenses and obligations, to any third party without the prior written consent of Linden Lab.

Because if they had read that, then the minor wouldn't have been seen again posting photos in the SL feed from... drumroll... ADULT SIMS.

The response of the "best friends" was to teach the teenager how to better hide. This gifted account was also suspended, as the first one was, and in the third account, the teenager says that she's a teen, under her RL tab. However, the "best friends" she hangs out with, live in an ADULT sim. The "best friend forever" says she takes care of the babysitting. The thing here is, the underage person is AGAIN breaking TOS, and you, "bestie", are doing a job that doesn't belong to you, for you are not her mother. Her mother will not be delighted if she ever finds out, although after all the teaching how to better hide coming from you, irresponsible person, I doubt the poor mother learns about this. I don't want to be in her shoes when that happens.

It is not a witch hunt to point all this, as it has been mendaciously said. It is the responsible thing to do. As adults, we cannot teach a teenager that the right thing to do is learn to hide better in places where she shouldn't be in the first place, and that saying "I'm sorry" will be enough to get away.

It is highly irresponsible, it shows no moral decency or standards at all, and personally, it makes me highly doubt about the maturity that said "adults" have, because if they've followed all this path of lies and breaking TOS, expecting also that an innocent guy was pointed like "the bad guy", they sure have no moral grounds.

As a fun detail, the "best friends" have muted some of us in a response to this (imaginary) "witch hunt". Mute away, I say! I've never talked to you in the first place, "bestie", and given what I've seen, I don't feel like talking to you anyway. Interestingly, the teenager has NOT muted us. Shouldn't have been the teenager the one muting us, if she perceived any harassment? The answer is obvious to me. As any reader can see, there's no harassment in merely exposing our opinions and our publicly say that we do not encourage the behaviour of the teenager nor of the "adults" that taught her to better lie. And only the adults felt offended by that. In that regard, the teenager did show more maturity. I think it's funny.

I will finish with one more comment. There are reasons, important reasons, why we cannot teach that "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, oops I lied again" is something to forgive to "poor teenagers". You know, teenagers are underage, but they are not stupid. They can do a lot of harm. That's why I want that remains clear, after all this story, that what these "adult besties" are doing, is to plead forgiveness for this teenager who break TOS repeatedly (and so they have done too!), stepping over the uncomfortable fact that if there are RL consequences, those will be for the guy she played with.


  1. I didn't fall asleep! Very well said.

    1. I'm glad you didn't fall asleep! :-)

      I know that this happened like three weeks ago, but I feel that some topics are timeless, in what respects to, the importance of pointing out that these things happen.

  2. Human behavior is fascinating. I'm still awe struck that the BFF adult of the minor would post a fuck you on the feeds. I say this not because I'm unfamiliar with the odd passions that people develop in cases where they perceive that the punishment does not fit the crime. However, when, as indicated, the BFF was in possession of the name(s) of the individual(s) that had sent the hate mail, the BFF could have addressed them directly and privately without exposing the ill deeds of the pitiful 16 year old. IMO, it all seems too staged to be real, or the BFF is in fact, also not an adult. It seems to be a case of internet attention whoring 101.

    Your thoughts regarding "taking responsibility for yourself" align with my own. Luckily, as she is only 12, I have had only a few occasions in which I have had to guide my daughter out of blaming and into accepting that she alone is responsible for her actions, be they good or bad. Of course, she is still but a child and her preference would be that I gave her a soft place to land and excused her actions as if she were but a mere puppet of those around her and was deserved of nothing more than pity and sympathy. Not going to happen.

    On the off chance that Lune really is a RL minor, I'm sure that having adults rally to her defense feels pretty damn good. I wonder, if those adults would have reacted the same way had this incident resulted in the minor not telling the adult male the truth prior to meeting in RL and him being the lead story on the next episode of "Too Catch a Predator." While the self-loving Phil likes to imagine that the adult male would be able to simply say "I did not know" and head on back to where he came from without harm to his reputation or own personal sense of well being, Mr. Phil is sadly mistaken and by proxy, is supporting the actions of the minor.

    I think Lune, if indeed a minor, who apparently has little parental oversight, and the unfortunate online support of "adults" with grossly stunted maturity and intellect abilities, will grow up to be the next Seicher, Lillie, Gypsy...all individuals that blame a past, a drug, or the world at large for the unfairness that clouds their existence.

    So, perhaps, since these adult BFF of Lune's are teaching her that she is not to be held responsible for her actions, and in fact, will show their support by breaking the same set of rules that she has, will be willing to take her in once she realizes that the world at large is not going to forgive rule breakers, especially when those broken rules serve as a catalyst to the indictment of an unsuspecting and innocent person(s).

    Sorry for the much caffeine this morning ;)

    1. the BFF could have addressed them directly and privately without exposing the ill deeds of the pitiful 16 year old

      Perhaps they will do the next time, now that they know that not everybody agrees in that encouraging an underage person to break rules is the right thing to do. But I am not completely sure, because they seem to love the attention!

      On the off chance that Lune really is a RL minor

      Yes, we all thought that once a big lie was told, she could be 16 or 60 (as Sylvia said). The interesting is that, assuming she really was 16, those "adults" still continued to encourage her to break TOS, not caring at all about the RL consequences that this situation could have had for the guy, guy that they consistently forget about, and would have been the innocent damaged here.

      If she's not a minor, she sure likes attention and is laughing loudly at all of us, "besties" included. Great performance, feel proud!

      Don't worry about the ramble... I think I'm the first one falling for it :-)

  3. This touched on many of the issues I had - the RL consequences for the men she had relationships with, the repeated breaking of the TOS by everyone involved and the justifying/excusing of the behavior rather than acknowledging the damage done to innocent people. I know this is not an isolated case. Underage kids have been in SL for as long as there has been an SL. This drama just happened to play out publicly and dialog ensued. -Cinnamon Mistwood

    1. I'm sure it's not an isolated case either, and good thing we got to know of one. In my case, I would have never thought that this could happen until I read what Laurin said, and all the following information that was posted there, including the post that the "bestie" deleted (although I felt that could happen and that's why I went for the screenshot.)

      I can understand that the minor could be not completely aware of the full extent of the consequences of what she was doing. She's still in the process of being an adult, in the end.

      But all the adults that encouraged her to continue breaking TOS and "be forgiving, poor thing"? That's what gets me.