On vulnerability

Whims showed me this inspiring ted talk:

I tried to put vulnerability in the context of SL.

I think that in SL we have the possibility to either enhance or tone down our vulnerable sides in the virtual world. We can choose to build up a picture of ourselves as the perfect Barbie or Ken. We can play with status and success. We can create an avatar of perfect beauty, we can build up a picture of luxury and wealth fairly easy. SL can be a place where we compensate for a life we are not satisfied with. If we are socially shy we can try out another persona that is more forward and outgoing. If we are unemployed we can role-play that we have a fabulous business going on. We can of course also present ourselves in the profile text as the person we would like to be.

BUT there are also possibilities for strong connections. True, deep connections. We can dare more. We can open up to strangers, telling things about our deepest selves that no one even in our RL knows about.

How do you use your SL in the context of vulnerability as is discussed in the clip above? Is SL a place were you open up to people and show your true self or is it a dream world where you can be that perfect self you try so hard to be in your RL, but constantly fail to pull off?

I am reading Brené Browns book “Daring greatly” now. It gives me lot to think about. One interesting thought is how we live in a culture of scarcity. Scarcity meaning there is never enough. We are not thin enough, brave enough, clever enough, beautiful enough etc. The author talks about how difficult it is to have a good life when so many of us wake up in the morning thinking “oh I didn’t have enough sleep and now I haven’t enough time to do this or that”.

One can think about in the context of SL too. There is always a risk that SL becomes so addictive and alluring in terms or perfection that we compare our real lives with it and diminish our real selves even more. SL is very seductive in that way. Sometimes I need to remind myself about those shitty days in SL when I am standing at my home and feel like speaking to none of my friends. Or none of my friends that I want to speak to are online! SL can be inclusive and a feast, but it can also awake strong feelings of disconnection and loneliness depending on situation.

I’d love to hear what you have to say in the matter!

Hugs/Fiona

Dress code in SL

The other day I was confronted with a view about SL dress code that I’ve never really experienced before. I was playing at a club where I have played before. It’s a bar and I’ve always felt a sort of relaxed and friendly feeling about it. I was tp:ing in friends and acquaintances from here and there, starting to enjoying myself when suddenly a word exchange of rather harsh nature told me that the owner of the sim had been telling a couple of guys (one of the from my friendlist) in IM:s that they couldn’t dance there in their jeans. They had to adjust to the dress code. The guys refused, not surprisingly, and suddenly the owner of the sim had ejected them.

 

I felt my partymood sinking down to the level of my boot ruffles and the more I thought about it, the more furious I got. Ejecting is for me something you only do when someone is obviously rude to people or griefing the sim. The situation was also that I have been inviting people from my friendslist and their friends to this sim for a couple of times and I thought in my naivety that the clubowner would be quite happy to have a few people there. We have never really crashed the sim with too many people there…

 

When I confronted the clubowner asking why it was so important to keep the dresscode the only answer I got was “It’s my rules”. The answer wasn’t in any way enough for me. So I declared how disappointed I was in local chat, stopped playing and left the club.

 

This situation held so many interesting issues about how we conduct ourselves in SL so I had to give it more thoughts. Here are some of them:

 

What ejection signals

I believe ejecting is a measure to use only as a very selective instrument for moments when people are rude. If they behave, you must accept that people have taken lots of effort creating avatars looking like they do for a reason!

I am sure that people with a more visual mind than me appreciate the beauty of a harmonising view at their club and I understand if you want a certain “style” of your property, but do you really want to get the reputation of being exclusive and throwing people out when they don’t fit exactly to your dream?

Isn’t it beautiful when you run a club that people of all sorts come to seek out your place? What signals will ejecting people give to the audience? And what makes dresscode so important that you can risk a party for the sake of it?

If you want to have a dresscode, then you need to advertise it very clearly when people arrive, and you have to understand that not all people come for the sake of your club. Some come from random tp:s from friends and may well miss the codes. To be told when you already are at a dancefloor that you have the wrong sort of appearance is an insult. And being patronised in local chat about refusing to change will never make it any better! Perhaps it’s better to tell your visitors that they can remember the dresscode next time please, and let go of your strong principals for the sake of people’s comfort.

 

 

Adjustment versus personal expression

I think the world, including SL, can more or less be divided in two sorts of people. People that feel more comfortable with rules about how to dress in a certain place and people that think their own way to express themselves are more important than rules and adjustment.

 

I belong, not surprisingly, to the second half… I have always found it difficult to adapt to rules concerning my own persona and how I should look. I don’t need to look extremely pretty, BUT, I need to feel comfortable! I am not a big user of makeup and I don’t care too much about fashion, but I want to look like ME. So yes, I avoid certain places in RL where dress codes are announced because I don’t feel welcome there and not at all comfortable. It’s my choice.

 

In SL however I like to try out new looks and go to places like ballrooms for the fun and laugh of it. I can easily look splendid here and I enjoy it very much. But even here I sometimes just can’t bother to be dressed up. Some people here put tremendous efforts in to looking special and magnificent. I love the diversity and creativity whenever I see it! For me it’s fantastic that I can dance with a furry, a robot and a dragon in the same dancefloor. It makes me happy! And it doesn’t spoil the image of being in a dodgy blues club, a classy bar or a ballroom floor!

Snapshot_001

Role-play and emersion

A Role-play sim on the other hand is something different for me. Here people gather that are interested in acting out a special kind of place. They want to imagine a story together set in a special setting, be it medieval or space. The dresscode is part of a bigger thing and has a special meaning. Some sims has the possibility for visitors to walk around with OOC-signs so the roleplayers can just ignore them. These are very clever arrangements that helps people not to compromise each other.

Role PLay Costume

Nudity

Nudity has a certain meaning for us humans. Getting naked is something that causes emotions of some kind. I love the liberty of being able to strip off without embarrassment in SL and I do it when I feel like it. I can understand the need of having special sims where you can be nude and others where you don’t since it can embarrass people or make them feel awkward. I will not go in to detail on this, but I am happy that there are a few places where you can choose nudity or not! Enforced nudity feels like another restriction for me, but I can still understand it because of the strong emotions it evokes on some people.

blonde moments_005

 


 

I think these questions are important to address and discuss every now and then and I would of course love to hear your opinions.

What does ejection mean to you? If you got ejected from a place, how did that make you feel?

How do you feel about dress codes? Are they a help or a nuisance? Does different dress codes mean different things in different places to you too?

Much love and peace out brothers and sisters! Yours truly/Fiona