Yesterday was a quiet evening inworld: A taking it easy, pottering about, nothing much in particular evening. There were no events planned, nowhere in particular I had to be, and nothing specific I wanted to be doing. After logging in, I caught up on a spot of building, then joined a couple of friends at our virtual ‘local’, where nothing much occurred, other than a bit of chat and socialising.
There were none of the frantic goings-on that so often accompany everyday virtual life, nothing particularly exciting took place, and the time was memorable only because it was so quiet and so little of note occurred to report.
It was all very pleasant, and a good time was had by all.
Sometimes you have moments like that in SL, and I find that rather than just settling down for a couple of hours of rest and relaxation, many of us are prone to thinking that something must be horribly wrong… Have all of our friends deserted us?; Has the virtual world come to a grinding halt?; Did Facebook usurp SL while we weren’t looking? Alternatively, we may lean towards that peculiar feeling of guilt that nags us from inside…. rather than sitting in front of our computer screens doing very little of merit with our time, we should instead be doing something else more rewarding instead – running marathons, mowing the lawn, feeding the kids.
We’ve become acclimatised to thinking that if we’re logged on inworld, we should also be active in some way and that it is somehow worrying to simply be killing time, taking it easy or just chilling in the company of friends. Unless we’re being chased by zombies, dancing the night away or doing a spot of virtual sightseeing, we seem to be under the impression that somehow we’re not making the most of our time in SL. I find that quite odd, especially since – if we weren’t logged in – there’s a very good chance that, in the alternative, we’d be whiling away the hours chuckling at cat pictures, swiping through pages of status updates on social media, or investigating the weird part of YouTube, thanks to that interesting looking link we clicked three hours earlier. Somehow, although we might acknowledge that we really should have been doing all those other things that might actually be a little more important, we don’t feel quite as guilty as we do when just idly passing time in SL.
Yet, there’s nothing at all wrong with doing just that, whenever and wherever the mood takes us, and if that does happen to coincide with a couple of friends doing exactly the same thing, then what really is the problem with that? Whilst it could possibly feel like we’re frittering away our time when we could maybe be doing something a little more constructive or productive with it, surely what we’re actually doing is making use of SL in exactly the way it is intended – as a diversion from the real world; a means to escape from the demands and distractions of RL. Even better if we happen to be doing so in the company of friends, even virtual friends: after all, this is a social platform and socialising doesn’t necessarily mean doing any activity in particular, it can just be passing the time in the company of friends, with no agenda, other than simple companionship.
I some ways i think that maybe we occasionally need to take time out from the hectic round of activities, events, and planned excursions and become a little more laid back in our approach to what goes on inworld. Perhaps, now and again we need to switch off and enjoy a bit of downtime rather than trying to fill it with activity, especially if we can do it in the company of friends.
I hope to have lots more quiet, unstructured evenings inworld in the future – opportunities to reconnect with friends at a more human than virtual level, and if we end up just killing time, so what? As far as I’m concerned, that’s time very well spent.
Take it easy (easy skankin’);
Lord, I take it easy! (easy skankin’);
Take it easy (easy skankin’);
Got to take it easy (easy skankin’).
Bob Marley – Easy Skankin’