Ghosted in Second Life
I’m going to write this and try to explain what it is, why it happens and how to maybe protect yourself from it. I am not an expert and these are just my opinions but I do have 10 + years’ experience in Second life and I am a freak magnet.
What is being “Ghosted.”: Being ghosted is when somebody you know suddenly disappears without a trace. They won’t leave a message why and often they will close out their account. Most people I know have been “Ghosted” at least once in Second life if not more so it’s a fairly common occurrence.
Why does it happen? Being ghosted actually happens all over the place but since Second Life is a social game; it has a higher frequency than other games. Why would Second Life be at a higher frequency? It’s a game with a prime directive to be social and have friends but there’s no social consequences for doing anything wrong like the rules that are in place in real life. If you called somebody a cocksucker in real life chances are that they are going to punch you and probably will not be your friend again. In Second life, not a lot happens to you. You may be kicked/or banned from a sim which it would be easy to get back in with an alt.
When you have such a social game like Second life, this also becomes a breeding ground for people who are socially dysfunctional or have personality disorders. 1 in every 20 people have a personality disorders. Which means a lot of people cannot function socially or cannot cause drama / mischief in real life because of serious consequences. These people still need social interaction hence they come online.
(I will discuss personality disorders & Second Life in another article – Look for that soon)
What does this have to do with you? Well, a socially adjusted person would just tell you what they are thinking whether it was good or bad. If they have to give you bad news, they will tell you because it’s the honorable thing to do. Nobody enjoys not knowing; not having answers or closure. Sometimes you will fight with people but even in arguments; you are still getting some sort of information. Somebody who is dysfunctional cannot handle confrontation and cannot form emotional bonds so leaving and disappearing is the easiest thing to do. (Yes, it’s extremely selfish)
Why do they do this? It could be for many various reasons. Some don’t like confrontation. Others are hiding things in their real life they don’t want you to find out about. They could be having relations other people. There are many people who like to use people. They got the attention they wanted and will just move on.
Will they come back? Mostly not but there are occasions where they have. I have a friend that got ghosted once and he showed back up years later and act like nothing was wrong. He even tried to pick up where he left off! If they were on SL 24/7 before disappearing, they are probably still around under an alt.
How to cope: I would like to tell you that it won’t hurt and to just move on with your life but it does hurt. There will be a grieving process and it’s ok to be upset and angry. The one thing I would suggest you do is NOT BLAME YOURSELF! The type of person who does this has probably done this before and more than once. People who profess to care about you one day and completely disappear the next day – it’s definitely not you – it’s them and they have sociopathic tendencies.
Preventive measures: There is no plan that is fool proof but knowing what’s out there will help you in the long run.
What to watch for:
1. Somebody that displays little to no empathy for friends, relatives, animals and children.
2. Anybody that is verbally abusive especially for no reason at all.
3. Anybody with wild mood swings
4. Somebody that lies. (This is probably common sense but pay close attention to those that are lying about everything even simple things.) It’s really easy to remember the truth but trying to keep up with lies is difficult. So, if stories conflict a lot, that’s something you need to be careful of.
5. If they won’t share any personal information what so ever but ask you for personal information.
6. Anybody that “love bombs” you. This means flooding you with loving comments and compliments. It will be overwhelming and will happen a lot in the first few days. They will often buy you lots of gifts too as part of the love bombing.
7. If they don’t want to voice just to chat and they don’t have a legit reason why.
8. Anybody that breaks lots of promises. If he says he’s going to see you tomorrow and then never shows up. Etc.
9. Somebody that just suddenly logs out a lot. When they randomly log out and don’t even say bye and they show back up hours later.
What you can do for yourself:
1. Trust your instincts. (This may sound stupid but there have been times I had an uneasy feeling about somebody and just decided to tell them that the friendship was not working and I was done with it.)
2. Ask opinions from friends. If you have a friend or two that you can trust; ask them what they think.
3. Don’t view Second Life as a dating game. The chances of you meeting somebody in real life is slim and the chances of it working in real life is even slimmer.
4. Don’t share your whole life story with somebody you just met and really keep personal info on the internet to a minimum.
5. Save chat logs and write notes on their profile. There’s a section in the back of everybody’s profile for notes. It’s a good way to remember important things about that person.
6. Don’t just log in and devote yourself entirely to that other person. Take some time for yourself and do the things that you enjoy.
7. Remember you aren’t alone. ❤