Now, usually i have oodles of patience and can put up with all sorts of nonsense that sl, and for that matter, its residents throw at me – i just shrug off all the hassles, annoyances and idiocies that are part and parcel of sl existence, and tread a zen-like path, oblivious to all the slings and arrows of outrageous (mis)fortune.
Although, there are some things that can eventually penetrate the calm and can turn me from a happy-go-lucky, take-life-as-it-comes, paragon of virtue into a bloodthirsty, chop-you-into-little-pieces, raving lunatic. The most common culprit is… groupies.
Not the ‘I wanna sleep with the band and have their little band babies’ sort of groupie – i’m on about the sl sort… they are the things that hang around sl groups, generally being irritating. mouthy, loud and boorish, constantly getting in the way and pushing, uninvited, into your space at the most inconvenient and annoying moments. They are the ubiquitous ‘group notice’.
Not that there’s anything wrong with group notices when used sensibly and discretely – they can be incredibly useful, informative and a great way of keeping in touch without having to resort to that other monstrosity of intrusiveness, group chat. The trouble is, rarely do you find them used sensibly and discretely – far more frequently they’re thrust in your face relentlessly and without a thought for decorum and sensibility. To me, they’re very much like those leaflet-toting do-gooders that assail you in every city centre: you can’t walk ten paces without having to do the High Street Tango as you dodge their rugby tackles and quirkily friendly ‘invitations’ – “just two minutes of your time” – to sign-up, part with your cash and be told just how unfortunate practically every other person, animal and rainforest on the planet is. Manage to avoid the first one, and there’s seventeen more strategically placed to arrest your flight and talk you into saving the whales, (“no thank you – i have a very small apartment”), giving your point of view about the aged, (“i think they’re well-advanced in years”), or stop emitting carbon, (“here, have some methane instead”). And then there’s the equally dodgy journey back to the car, along the same route!
Nothing at all wrong with an informative notice about a new range of clothing or a special sale… but every other freaking day? No! Similarly, it’s perfectly ok to send a reminder that at 3.00pm it’s ‘Best in pastry’ night at Dinky Doodle’s Dance Domain, but i don’t want one every 15 minutes, for six hours in advance, to remind me to turn up on time. Nor do i want constant, irritating reminders wallpapering my screen when the time does eventually arrive, telling me that ‘it’s all happening at Dinky’s, right now’ – by all means, send a message at the start, even a ‘halfway through’ for those who prefer to arrive fashionably late, but absolutely nobody needs reminders after every single music track!
Ultimately, i suppose, i could turn off announcements for any particular group that spawns groupies like they’re going out of fashion, but i really shouldn’t have to. i join groups because they bring me tangible benefits or because they help like-minded people to come together – but when group owners feel it’s necessary to bombard their subscribers with endless invitations to participate, join in or otherwise take advantage of what seems to be a neverending myriad of unmissable opportunities, you do have to wonder precisely whom the group is benefiting – is it the community or the group owner? To be honest, rather than turn off notices, i tend to just leave the group – and having left the group, the extent to which i participate and thus bring value to both that community and those running the show, will i’m afraid, go into a steep decline.
If we consider sl as a social media platform, then having group notices thrust in your face constantly and without any thought is much akin to sitting quietly in a pub, only to be rudely gatecrashed time, and time again by random strangers talking loudly over you and spilling your drink. Would you hang around long in such a place?
You can’t use me
You can’t use me
Excuse me, I ain’t groupie
Bob Sinclar – Groupie