There are many things that contrive to irritate and bug me about SL: The still-prevailing, but completely incorrect belief that the virtual world revolves entirely around rampant sex; the way that those who profess in their profiles to abhor drama, yet somehow manage to be the cause of it; some of the idiotic, counter-productive decisions the Lab continues to make in the management of SL… Frankly, I could go on, ad-nauseum and compile a list of niggles that runs to many pages, but by and large, I can live with most of them and put them down to SLife’s rich pageant.
There is, however, one extremely annoying practice that some people seem to be under the impression is a perfectly acceptable way to behave, that drives me to distraction whenever I’m on the receiving end of it: The login mugging!
Perhaps I should offer some context, before heading off on a full-blown rant. Logging into SL is often one of the last activities of the day that I generally undertake, and – weekdays in particular – I’m usually tired after a long slog in work, and looking forward to switching my brain off for a while. It’s time to unwind and relax and, more importantly, it’s a chance for some ‘me’ time: No deadlines, no hassling, and – unlike the rest of the day – no demands on my time from other people.
My first 10-15 minutes inworld are like stepping into a welcoming hot bath, a sacrosanct moment, a haven of tranquility when I can put the woes of the day behind me, and take that all-important, precious moment to myself. Generally – inworld – it’s not a hot bath though, it’s usually an opportunity to fiddle about with my outfit, enjoy a spot of virtual pampering and enjoy the luxury of doing my own, uninterrupted, thing.
Unfortunately, far too often, that’s not how it happens. Instead, whilst barely out of the primeval curry cloud, when still surounded by a world of grey, formless shapes, and trying to find my bearings, there’s an ominous double-ping of an instant message. Yes, whilst still disorientated, dishevelled and in that pre-rezzed state of confusion, somebody has decided they want to have a chat. The real issue though, is that this isn’t some random IM that’s happened to coincide with my arrival inworld, no – it’s a carefully calculated, expertly-timed assault… Somebody who has been lurking in wait, ready to pounce the moment the message that I’ve logged in pops up on their screen. It’s a mugging!
This sort of IM comes from someone who clearly has no comprehension of the virtual equivalent of personal space: Somebody who puts their own wants and needs front and centre, demanding attention without first considering whether that attention is merited, let alone desired, by the recipient. To jump someone the second they arrive is reminiscent of walking into one of those supermarkets who insist on having ‘greeters’ to hijack you as you walk through the door, stuffing baskets and flyers into your hands before you’ve even had a chance to retrieve your shopping list. It’s like arriving at work, after a frought journey with rush hour traffic, only for someone to make a beeline for your desk, pile of papers for you to review in hand, and demanding your attention before you’ve even taken your coat off. It happens inworld too: When you arrive at a club for a night’s entertainment, and the moment you arrive at the landing point, you’re being hassled by ‘hosts’, proffering dance HUDs, contest entries and demands that you tip the DJ, dancers, host, barman, owner, and pretty much everybody else in the room, before you’ve even set foot on the dancefloor. It’s even more annoying when the process is automated – those shops that send a barrage of notifications on arrival: Latest offers, group invites, redelivery policies and requests to show your picture on the walls and you haven’t even walked through the door yet!
Just. Stop. It!
I think what annoys me most about being mugged by IMs on login is that the sender has no consideration for the recipient. They know you’ve only just arrived inworld, and surely they must also understand that – at the very least – it can take a few minutes to rez, find one’s bearings and settle-down. Yet those things don’t matter to them; their message is far too important to wait, and of course, there is every expectation that, having sent their message, an immediate response is required. Trust me, if you want an immediate reply from me, it’s likely to be two words, the second of which will be ‘off’!
Invariably, too, these irritating IMs tend to be demanding in nature. Rarely will it be a simple ‘hello’, and if it is, it will likely be followed by something with the expectation that your presence, and undivided attention – either in person, or in conversation – will immediately follow. That’s if you even get a cursory greeting. There have been occasions I’ve been mugged by what is effectively a demand that I get my butt from wherever I happen to be, to wherever the sender happens to be, right now! Oh, and there’s the obligatory TP request that accompanies it.
Such muggings are not appreciated by Yours Truly, and will almost invariably have the opposite effect to that intended. If you wait for me log in, then jump me before my body parts have had an opportunity to assemble, I’m going to make you wait for a reply, and you’ll be waiting for far longer than you would have, if you’d waited a reasonable amount of time before calling me up. That’s if I respond at all… You may well find I don’t want to speak to you at all, especially if all I really wanted to do was spend some time easing into SL for the evening, before properly chilling out.
Maybe I’m somewhat more antisocial than most, or perhaps not as patient as some, but the bottom line is – by any measure – it’s just downright rude to demand somebody’s attention without any consideration for the fact that they may want a bit of time to sort themselves out when they first log in. And I really don’t get on well with rude people.
Although, I daresay some of those who choose to mug me on login might well think it’s downright rude of me not to respond straight away too… But, I’m sticking to my guns!
When the cat took your tongue,
I say you took it right back
Your mouth is so big,
One bite could kill a Big Mac
Run DMC – Shut Up