I’m really not a fan of IMs – as a rule, this isn’t generally an issue, I don’t tend to get a huge amount of IM traffic and when I do, it’s generally friends I don’t mind talking with and it’s not very often that many of my conversations last all that long anyway. I do, however, live in mortal fear of complete strangers sending me an IM out of the blue – something that rarely happens, thank goodness, although SL has seen fit to bless me with just that occurrence on three separate occasions this week, on three consecutive days.
My dislike of random messaging stems mainly from my ineptitude for socialising, but is also due in part to the nature of the IMs that seem to be the norm in SL – you know the sort of messages, they’re the ones that if your mum caught you saying them to anyone in RL, (which, let’s face it, you wouldn’t), she’d give you a much-deserved clip around the ear.
However, SL never ceases to catch me out, and on the most recent occasions I’ve found myself pleasantly surprised – and also bemused – by the messages I’ve received from people that I’ve never met and spoken with previously. The first was from a gentleman – and it’s not often you get to say that about a chap in the virtual world – who, for some reason, picked me out from a crowd of around 20 people to ask about the club where I was dancing. Although he was a ‘local’, somehow the club had never come to his attention, and he was interested in learning a little more about it. We chatted, on and off, for a few minutes about the club, and my blog – yes, he even read my profile – but I was still wary… I was waiting for the inevitable invitation to ‘play’, or worse – but it never came. It was a very pleasant surprise to be approached by a random stranger in this way and for the conversation to remain both friendly and wholesome. So, thank you Mr Stranger, for re-affirming my faith somewhat in human nature; even in SL it seems there are still some people who know how to be polite and respectful, and don’t have their brains located in their pants!
My second, random contact with a complete stranger left me a little bemused, although it did make me laugh. This occasion found me at DeVicious on its penultimate day of trading, minding my own business and hoping to snag a few bargains before closing.
[16:42] Friendly Resident: is everything 50 l
Er… What? Checking for the non-existent ‘sales assistant’ tag above my head, I did the honourable thing and confirmed that everything was indeed L$50. Questions about why the sale was taking place and where to find fatpacks followed – all of which I dutifully, although somewhat bemusedly answered to the best of my ability. I carried on shopping, thinking nothing more about it, when…
[16:50] Friendly Resident: ok thanks
[16:50] Serendipidy Haven: no problem
[16:50] Friendly Resident: i dont see anything else i want
[16:50] Friendly Resident: enjoy
[16:50] Second Life: secondlife: Friendly Resident paid you L$200.
[16:50] Friendly Resident: there you go
[16:50] Friendly Resident: have fun
[16:51] Serendipidy Haven: aww, thank you 😀
[16:51] Serendipidy Haven: take care
[16:51] Friendly Resident: you too anytime
OK, what just happened? Did a complete stranger just pay me L$200 for no particular reason? Yes indeed! What happened next however made me literally laugh out loud…
[16:51] Friendly Resident: can i have 50 l of mine back
[16:51] Friendly Resident: i saw one last thing as i walking out
[16:51] Serendipidy Haven: of course! 🙂
[16:51] Friendly Resident: thank you
[16:51] Friendly Resident: if u saw how many clothes i have
[16:51] Friendly Resident: i dont need no more
[16:52] Serendipidy Haven: lol – i know the feeling!
[16:52] Friendly Resident: same with u?
[16:52] Serendipidy Haven: you can never have too many!
[16:52] Friendly Resident: thats the truth
[16:52] Serendipidy Haven: 😀
And then, five minutes later…
[16:53] Friendly Resident: hon 50 l more
[16:53] Friendly Resident: shit im sorry
[16:53] Serendipidy Haven: lol
And I still have no idea what any of that was about; it’s one of the more peculiar IM sessions I’ve had in recent times.
Which brings me to my last, and somewhat more objectionable randomly received IM, this time from an avatar who wandered into a small group of my friends and immediately made it completely clear that he was out to make mischief:
[15:00] Serendipidy Haven: hi Allen
[15:00] Allen Michalski: i’m just here to hit on girls in the rudest way possible
Followed by the following, unprovoked and unwanted IM:
[15:00] Allen Michalski: I love you
My response was simple, and predictable:
[15:57] Second Life: You have blocked this Resident.
Apparently, he later imposed himself upon a friend at their private parcel, got into an argument with them and refused to leave. So, thanks Allen, for re-affirming my previously held suspicions – which, despite the other unsolicited IMs I received this week demonstrating that not everyone in SL is a moron – confirms that I’ve every reason to shy away from communicating with those around me, because far too many of them are indeed, complete jerks.
Communication Breakdown, It’s always the same,
I’m having a nervous breakdown, Drive me insane!
Led Zeppelin – Communication Breakdown