Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Second Life made me learn...

Another week, another Monday challenge from Strawberry Singh (which of course I complete late)... and again, one that tickles my interest. Because it makes you look back and reflect. This week's challenge says:

Meme instructions: Share things that you have learned because of your involvement in Second Life, either personally or professionally. Don't forget to leave a link to your post in the comments so others can come by and read your answers as well!

I think that it's interesting, to begin with, to read Strawberry's answers. They can give you ideas of things you wouldn't have considered as "I have learned this because of what I do in Second Life". Those are her experiences, and I find interesting the conclusions. She first mentions learning Photoshop and Wordpress, which are technical things, and in my experience, quite useful if you work in an office. Learning tools is always good, and it makes easier to learn other tools in the future.

What technical knowledge that I didn't have before have I acquired, because of my SL experience?

There are two major programs here: GIMP and Blender.

It's true that I know GIMP since long time ago (I know someone that was a GIMP developer at the time, and he introduced it to me), but I never went past cropping images. Nowadays I understand better what I'm doing, and how to achieve what I want to do.

Thanks to having started learning Blender, I started learning something that I wanted since almost twenty years ago: 3D modelling and animation. Of course, I'm not saying I'm an expert here (in fact, being an expert is quite far from the truth), but thanks to my work in SL, I've started learning the foundation of something I've been wanting to do since more than half my life.

I have also learned some rudiments of Audacity and working with sound clips. Makehuman, for human models. Filter Forge, to help me in creating textures. QAvimator, which was the first animation software that I used for SL.

I cannot list Blogger, Wordpress or similar here, because I've been a web developer for some years. But that is okay. The important is that while I've been in SL, I've continued to acquire technical knowledge. It has done good to me in that aspect.

I cannot forget this: I have learned English. Sure, I learned English at school and then high school, but I never got a real chance of putting it to practice. To me, that wasn't learning but "learning". I got the chance of really learning English in SL. Since then, I feel I can communicate better, and I even dared teaching in voice, in SL. If life required from me that I move to a country where people speak English, I have good chances to survive. (As long as I don't crack jokes.)

After talking about the technical knowledge she's acquired because of what she does in SL, she explains something even more interesting: What she's learned in the personal.

She mentions (and explains) budgeting and curbing my shopaholicism, customer service and growing a thicker skin. I'm listing them because I want to come back to the last one. First, let's see... What have I learned in the personal?

I think that I'm more diplomatic than I was when I'm behind a screen (Face to face, it seems that I continue to be the woman that will have her face broken some day, in some situations). I think I've learned to be more patient when dealing with others (although not always).

There's one good thing, to me, about treating people behind a screen. It gives me time to read and re-read the exact words that the other person said, no what I remember they said. It gives me time to bite my tongue (although not always I achieve this). It gives me time to think about what to answer. It gives me the chance to rewrite as needed, until I'm sure I will say what I mean, before I hit the Enter key. This, of course, helps a lot with customer service. I have no CSR, so I deal with it myself. I understand that customers, at times, contact you in a situation of frustration, and giving yourself time to answer, and review it before it's final, is a good thing.

I also think that I've broadened my horizons, understood how much variety of characters you find in people, how many different interests... and I've realized that both worlds, RL and SL, are always big enough to hold all the people, in all their diversity. Thanks to my experience in SL I've learned that not understanding why others like what they like means just that. It doesn't mean that your tastes or morals are better. It just means that you don't understand why others prefer other things than those you do, and you should not raise yourself as some kind of Internet White Knight trying to prove them wrong in their tastes/preferences/even kinks. I've learned how great is to live and let others live. I may not understand why others do other things, but that's all about it. And it's none of my business what they do with their private lives.

Notice how I say think, italics, instead of a straight think. Why am I doing this? Because I want to emphasize that I think I've learned those things, no that I have learned them. We're referring here to personal qualities, I may be very well wrong about them. I always say this: We are the worst judges about ourselves, and I am not going to make a exception with myself. So I think I've learned those things, but any of you could prove me wrong, and show that I have not learned them. Hence I think I have learned those things.

Of course, I have met some people that remind me, there are good people in the world. No matter we talk about SL or RL. And this brings me to her last answer. Strawberry says that thanks to SL, she's learned to grow a thicker skin. She talks about how nasty some people are, because they are hidden behind a computer, safe from our reactions, and how nowadays she doesn't feel much bothered by people who are nasty.

To the last thing, all I can say is, good for you. People on the Internet have no more power over you, than the power you give to them.

To the first thing... I don't completely agree.

Let me repeat something I've said above:

I think that I'm more diplomatic than I was when I'm behind a screen (Face to face, it seems that I continue to be the woman that will have her face broken some day, in some situations).

If the people are brave when they're behind a screen argument was completely true, then it's not possible that I continue to be the same reckless thing face to face (like I said, in some situations), while more moderate when behind the screen. Do you think I wouldn't tell you, face to face, the same things I've told you online? Test me. But some people won't test me, because they know, they cannot censor me like they do with all the mechanisms that the online world gives. (And of course, they will lie about the whole situation. I'm old enough to know the game.)

I am not saying, though, that many brave mouths behind a screen aren't actually cowards when confronted face to face. There are many of these real life cowards, oh yes. And it's fun to see their faces when you confront them in the real world and ask them to repeat what they told you in a forum. (I told you; one day, someone will break my mouth).

But not all brave mouths online are chickens in the real world. They can actually be moderate when online, and you would not want to listen to them face to face. You may think you don't want to hear them because omg the insults, but actually, the cases I've known are people who have the bad habit of telling the (always painful) truth, without using a single insult. Which, like if magic, turns into lots of insults in the mind of the person who didn't want to hear the truth.

There's another point I disagree with: That because we are in SL, we are anonymous. We may be anonymous right as we sign up: nobody knows us yet. But as time goes by, many of us develop a certain level of attachment to the virtual identity we've created. Many of us let the real us slip in our avatar's life and actions, make connections with other people. Once you have friends and a (virtual?) life, you feel that any words directed toward your avatar are directed to you. The real you. When Auryn Beorn writes something, it's the woman behind who does it, and she does exactly as she did when she signed with her real name in other forums. When someone says that Auryn Beorn is an idiot, I, the woman behind, know that the kind term of appreciation is directed to me. I also know that idiot is a boring choice, and I am the one who gives power (or not) to the person that called me idiot, by showing my reaction (or lack of).

Think about it: If we were really anonymous, why would people care so much about what's been said about their avatars? Because we aren't that anonymous. Knowing you isn't a matter of knowing your real name, where you live and your blood type. Knowing you is a matter of knowing how you think, how you feel, how you react. And you lose all anonymity as you interact with other people and let your real self slip in.

I haven't extended all I wanted in this topic, but I'm not doing for now because I know I could be writing for days, and at this point, not even my mother would be reading me. So let's continue talking about what else I think I have learned in the personal.

Something else I think I have learned is that many people seem genuinely surprised about how people can play games, be manipulative, etc., in SL, like if that never happened in RL. And it makes me think, a lot, about my own life.

I have never seen a behaviour in SL that I hadn't seen before in RL. In fact, the people I've known in RL are a lot worse than what I see in SL.

In SL I've been backstabbed. In RL I've been so tenfold. In SL I can barely trust people. In RL I trust even less people. In SL I've been betrayed. In RL, the wound is open for almost a decade, and it feels like it will never stop bleeding. The cruelest people (to me) have been my RL family and almost all of those I believed to be my RL friends.

So I think I have learned that people online aren't that bad as they can be in the real world. In fact, while people are online, they aren't hurting someone next to them (ok, there may be exceptions). They are distracted. I often say, half in jest, half serious, that smart politicians sure love Twitter, because while people are complaining in Twitter, they aren't on the streets fighting for their rights.

I think I have also learned to say no, and stay firm about it. It's something that translated to my real world, and I'm quite glad of it.

I also think I've developed an even worse sense of humor, because I can now make puns in two languages (to the horror of those that know me in RL, and know English).

I think I've let grow an artistic side of me that was repressed, and this is doing me good.

And this time, without think, I have learned that I really type too much. So I'll be leaving this here, because I can think of many more things to say, but at this point, half of you are sure sleeping =)

Have a great day! :-)


Mesh body: Lara, from Maitreya
Mesh hands: Lara's hands, from Maitreya
Mesh feet: Lara's feet, from Maitreya

Skin: Romy, Asia, from Glam Affair
Eyebrows: Romy Brow 01 E, from Glam Affair
Lipstick: Romy Lipstick Goddess 01, from Glam Affair
Eyes makeup: Romy Darkline 02, from Glam Affair
Freckles: Cassiopea Cosmetics, A (tn), from Glam Affair
Eyes: Phantom Eyes, Black Swan, from Dead Apples

Hair: Yunie (Garnet), from D!va
Headpiece: Isabella Headpiece, Black Gold, from Eudora 3D
Panties: Lycia, Black, from Baiastice
Necklace and earrings: Arabella Wild Pearls, from Maxi Gossamer
Corset: Anastasia corset (Night), from Junbug
Anklets and leg bands: Black regalia silks, from Angelwing
Wings: Titania Fairy Wings, from Deviance

Pose: Dark Fairy, set #3, Black Tulip (mine), coming for Oneword on March 1st

1 comment:

  1. I think you being more moderate online than in the real world is probably not what the majority of people are like. All you have to do is go to any random youtube video or news site and look at the hateful, spiteful comments to see that. The online world does offer people a safe sense of anonymity so they can let out their real world frustrations out to strangers on the internet. This is what I think is the majority anyways. But it's interesting to read your side of the story and your thoughts on it. Thank you again for sharing.