After several months being in SL, wandering around, I thought it would be interesting to publish some ideas for newbies, how they should behave in SL. In the first period they arrive in Second Life, they think there are no barriers, and they can ask and do whatever they please.
Some of these points might even be interesting for all other avatars as well, as it is never too late to get some education.;)
This was already posted before but I have adjusted it a bit, as some things did change over the time in SL.
- Don’t offer friendship to people you haven’t even talked to. Make an effort to get to know someone.
It is difficult to decline friendship when it is offered, but would it not be preferable that those people should present themselves before offering their friendship?
- Don’t ask strangers for a lot of real-life information on first meeting them. Conversely, don’t offer a lot of personal information yourself.
In RL we all have psychological defenses, which prevent us from behaving inappropriate. In SL though, those defenses are thrown away, at least in the beginning. People have the impression that they have direct access to other people’s minds and thoughts. Try not to demand real life details from people you have just met, and try very hard to avoid divulging a lot of personal information. This effect does wear off, to some extent.
- If an avatar chooses a male or female character for his or herself, it is polite to treat people as the sex they appear.
Sometimes we know that an avatar is from the opposite sex in rl, as they appear in SL. Please treat this avatar as the sex they have chosen. So a female avatar should be treated as a female, even if you know this avie is a male in RL..
- Don’t offer teleports without an exchange of IMs first.
There is nothing quite so annoying as getting a peremptory teleport offer without any sort of discussion taking place first. It is polite to contact the person by IM first, and then if the person is agreeable, to send a teleport, not before.
- Don’t appear at a friend’s side without warning, even if they allow you to map them.
This could also be annoying, a friend appearing at your side without warning, This will be easily prevent by withholding the ability to be mapped by friends. But even if you have a SLurl of someone’s home, try to warn him/her that you are coming and ask if that is ok. Imagine, you drop by just at the time your friend is adjusting their skin, or heck, even worse, they may just be involved in a delicate conversation or action.
- Try to be succinct when contacting someone you don’t know.
It can be quiet annoying when someone is contacting you, while you are in the middle of a complex texture job, struggling with your prims. I can imagine , for example when you have a shop, and customers want to ask you in which color they can have this or that. Instead of starting with “Hi”, following by “Can I ask you something”, and “Sorry to bother, but……” It would be better to try to contact the other person, to whom you would like to ask something, to phrase your question into one sentence, explaining what you are looking for. You will maybe not get an answer right away, but at least, you did not embarrass the other person, who you, in fact, don’t know at all. I am sure that you will get an answer, just be patient.
- This goes double if you are IMing a group.
Try to sum it all up in your first post when IMing to a group. This allows those who aren’t interested or can’t help to cancel out of discussion, and those who can or are interested to stay and chat. Starting the conversation with hi! when you know there will be 40 “hi!”s in reply is just mean. In fact it would be better not to start a conversation in a group. Just announcing an event is ok, not a whole discussing. And if you have the urge of starting a conversation in group, start it, and if you have the responses, continue in a conference, if necessary.
- Don’t explore someone else’s house unless invited.
Not respecting your neighbour’s space in SL can be as serious as not respecting your RL neighbour’s space. People get angry and vengeful. Try to treat people always as you would wish to be treated, and that means only exploring the places you are invited to explore. If in doubt — ask!
The fact that it is possible to do this in SL without ever stepping foot over the threshold, by moving your camera around seems to be beside the point.
- Do try to learn about people by reading their profiles.
This one is a very handy tool. You can pick up all sorts of useful information from people’s profiles, from information about their likes and dislikes, to special places to explore. I have a friend who already has discovered several beautiful places just by the information of the profiles. Make a habit of clicking into the profiles of the people you meet, and getting to know them a bit.
All these issue’s seem to be normal to us, yet, not all of them are respected by some avatars. RL is not at all the same as SL.
I think if these “rules” should be respected by everyone in SL, and don’t worry, most of the avatars I do meet, are respectful, our second life would be so much more agreeable.