There are times when life is far from perfect and, for many of us, when the real world is getting us down we seek solace and an escape into the virtual world… unfortunately it’s usually the case that sl is also far from perfect. There can be nothing worse that logging in after a hard and trying day, only to find that sl is up to its usual tricks and rather than providing us with a refuge from the trials of life, instead it provides us with a headache, frustration and an overwhelming need to throw our computer through the nearest window.
However, just occasionally, it’s not like that at all.
Every now and again, and often when we least expect it, the pixel gods smile upon us and sl provides us with a very special, and much needed feelgood experience. It seems that despite its all-too-obvious deficiencies, sl has a remarkable ability to bring together those individual and elusive elements that bring a smile to our face, a lift in our step and which gladden our hearts. In life, these are frequently fleeting moments, isolated occurrences that can evade our grasp and, often as not, leave us wishing for more, but knowing the moment has passed forever. Yet, in sl, perhaps because of the freedom we have or the way in which opportunities and people are serendipitously thrown together, such moments can even surpass those we may be fortunate to experience within our real lives.
SL seems to be ideally suited towards enveloping us within opportunities conducive to producing positive vibes, where we can be gently lead, along with the people around us, into a moment that – for want of a better word – is just perfect.
Perhaps it’s because we don’t have the worries, concerns and demands the real world places upon us when we’re ensconced in the world of sl; maybe it’s because we’re truly experiencing real escapism whilst inworld, or perhaps it is just that sense of real freedom, coupled with the knowledge that it is all ours, to enjoy, explore and make the most of that can transform some sl moments into something more than simple ‘virtual’ reality. Whatever it is, i’m sure that most of us have experienced that perfect moment which somehow feels more real than reality and creates such a potent emotional high that we may take days to come down from it.
Just a normal evening in sl… time spent amongst familiar faces in a familiar setting and yet, tonight would be different: the scene was being set for something very special – something unplanned, unorchestrated and unforeseen, yet immensely satisfying and fulfilling. As the night wore on, people faded away, returning back to their real lives of dinner and dog-walking, movies and work, leaving just a few friends behind enjoying each other’s company. The music abandoned the usual playlist, picking up on songs that, for some unknown reason were exactly what i needed to hear – old songs i loved, yet rarely listened to… songs from my own music collection that somehow sounded even more real when listened to in the company of friends – friends, it seemed, who felt much the same as i.
In our little group, who in real terms were spread across thousands of miles and other time zones, all of us different, with very different lives and experiences, we found ourselves sharing our thoughts and feelings, our fears and our sorrows – we talked of personal challenges, of pain and loss, our philosophies on life and of the good things too. We laughed and joked, poked fun, empathised, supported and gave vent to our own feelings… and it was very, very good. At this one precious moment, not one of us was an avatar, a resident or just pixels, and i’d venture to say we were more than just friends – together, we discovered a shared ground and experience that surpassed arbitrary boundaries and definitions… we were simply together, able to be ourselves – accepted and cared for by virtue of that one thing we all shared in common: our humanity.
And it was perfect, just perfect.
Oh such a perfect day, weekenders on our own
It’s such fun
Such perfect day you made me forget myself
I thought I was someone else, someone good
Lou Reed – Perfect Day