I've been thinking about friends lately, and SL friends in particular. When I first logged in to SL, I did not expect to find people that were so dang cool, and smart, and funny, and....exasperating! I really didn't know what I would find, and I wasn't sure who I wanted to be on here. I thought it was just a game. How wrong I was. Within a week, I found a very cool live music scene and I also found Alcoholics Anonymous. I hadn't been to a meeting in a long time, although I had been sober for almost sixteen years last year at this time. When I found AA on SL, I realized that who I wanted to be on SL was myself, and I would try my best to be me.....the REAL me. And I've done pretty well with that, with some minor bumps along the road.
That being said, I've also found friends, who on the whole, tend to be real also. How do I know that? Well, it is SL and we really can't be sure, but then can we really be sure in RL? I mean really, there are con artists in RL too, who lie and cheat and manipulate us, just as in SL. The way I deal with that is to ignore it. I can't let the fear of someone who is not real with me dominate my SL. If they are playing me, that will come out. Their true colors will show, eventually. I prefer to think the best of people until they prove me otherwise, and I have been pleasantly surprised, time and time again. I started off with mostly AA friends, because of our common bond. Then I got involved with DJing and that became a great source of friends through our common love of music.
I know consider myself very, very lucky and I'm so grateful for the friends I have met. I have friends who I've been able to share pretty much everything with about my SL and much of my RL also. I've got friends who do not hesitate to give me a hug, pray for me, give me gifts, spank my butt....even an occasional kiss. And, sometimes, more importantly, they slap me upside the head and tell me to wise up or stop being an ass. I'm grateful for all this...maybe not when I get that slap to the head, but after, I see why and I see that I needed it.
I have a rather large friends list. I do not hesitate to ask a new person in AA for friendship, but I am a bit slower out of AA, and there is a reason for that. In AA, it is imperative to be able to help someone and to show support because of the gravity of the situation. Outside of AA, I usually wait for something to click. It can be a single line that shows a common bond (again) or it can be a series of conversations that lead me to believe that we should be friends. Sometimes I know someone for quite a while and realize, "why is this person not on my friends list?" I sometimes forget or assume they're already there. I very rarely decline a friendship offer, even though lately I've had two complete strangers offer it. I figure, it doesn't hurt and it's just being nice. If we never talk again, eventually I'll drop them. Not out of anger, but because it's prudent to not have a friends list that's so huge I can't keep track of my real friends.
One more thing.....broken friendships. I've known people who are so quick to take people off their list. "She said something mean to me so I took her off my list..." Oh come on...grow up. I can honestly say, I've never taken anyone off my friends list...as Crighton that is. I do have an alt that I keep friends with only a few people. It's my getaway thing...so I treat her a bit differently than Crighton. I should qualify that if I add or am added as a friend to someone and we never talk for months, I will remove that person....just because there is no point. Especially if they're in a group I'm in and I see they haven't been online for months. But out of anger? Never. I've had people take me off their list a few times. Most of the time, I go to that person and try to work out whatever happened. Sometimes they were mad or upset, and a couple times it was just a mistake or misunderstanding. Everytime that has happened I have been able to work through it, with two exceptions. And those two exceptions are....well, it's a tough situation and both people have shown no desire to try to work things out with me and whoever else was involved. In fact, one of the people regularly posts hateful, childish garbage on his profile. It got so bad that I just don't even look anymore. It has become a waste of time and energy. I just don't need people like that in my life at this time...or any time for that matter.
The one problem I do have with that is this.....if this person regularly posts such hateful stuff on his profile, why have none of our "mutual" friends confronted him and called him out on it? Do they think it's funny? Do they just think, "well, that's just ********...it's none of my business" Because I will tell you this, if someone that knows you posts hateful stuff about you on their blog or profile, they will hear about it from me. I will not stand by and let my friends be abused and do nothing. This bothers me, because what I see is someone who is actively projecting hatred publicly towards someone I care deeply about, and there are mutual friends who do nothing about it. I personally don't care if these comments are directed at me...and I'm quite sure they are. I feel pity for him. I have grown past the anger stage and am not wasting any more time on it. I just have a hard time....well, I guess I just don't want that type of person around me. There are times I wonder how others can read a profile like that and think that it's okay.
Wow...I guess I'm a little resentful about that, huh? Hmmmmmmm.....well, more prayer and forgiveness is obviously needed here....lol. That diatribe aside, my SL friendships have been incredible. I consider myself the luckiest avi in SL. And it's not because I'm a decent DJ or a good AA or I have a nice island (which needs work!) I am lucky because of my friends, and I'm grateful for all of you. Especially those of you who read this entire book of a post!
2 years ago