Speaking of things that never happened, it’s remarkable how quickly facts can get twisted and distorted in SL, and result in an account of events and occurrences that simply never happened in quite the way that gets recounted.
Official messages from Linden Lab get completely twisted and given entirely new meanings; rumours and surmisings get presented as hard facts; and inevitably, just as in RL, the passing on of information suffers from ‘Chinese whisper’ syndrome, and by the time any message reaches you, it bears little resemblance to it’s original content.
A friend who falls to log in for a couple of days may return to find their nearest and dearest mourning their untimely demise, blogging about what a wonderful person they were, and fighting over who gets to purchase their prime piece of corner plot once the rent runs out.
Any official announcement about anything by the Lab: Planned or unplanned maintenance, new features, changes to any aspect of SL, anything at all really, will invariably be misinterpreted as unequivocal evidence that SL is at an end and about to be thrown into the skip outside the back door of the Lab and taken away to the city dump, never to be seen again. The degree of misinformation to be found surrounding such announcements is such that should the Lab ever actually announce the demise of SL, the rumour mill will almost certainly interpret it as a proclamation that the virtual world is here to stay forever!
It’s not just fake, or misinformed news that proliferates in and around SL: The ease with which it is possible to misread, misinterpret or mistype conversation can lead to a wealth of misunderstanding and confusion, some of which can lead to considerable hilarity and mirth. At other times, misreported accounts of inworld happenings can result in fallings-out, upset, and a complete break down in communication between friends, turning them into enemies simply because of a simple typing error.
I suppose that SL is no different to the real world inasmuch that if something feels wrong, it quite possibly is, and if we really want to get our facts right, it always pays to check them out thoroughly before passing them on to others or relying upon them to be accurate ourselves. It makes a whole lot of sense and can avoid a huge amount of grief and unnecessary angst. At the very least, a quick sanity check can mean the difference between keeping our mouths safely and discretely shut, or making a complete and utter fool of ourselves in public by presenting something that is clearly a load of twaddle, as gospel truth.
Save some face, you know you’ve only got one
Change your ways while you’re young
Boy, one day you’ll be a man
Oh girl, he’ll help you understand
The Killers – Smile Like You Mean It