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January 07, 2004

Comments

Its amazing! SL its truly a human emotions furnace! It is so clear that SL romance is strongly liked to Addiction.

I been fighting against my addiction for under a year. Reduced my time in and I can even come in 2 hours and leave again for weeks uninstalling meanwhile. Mercifully I got bored of the damn thing! That helped me out.

If you feel you are addicted, I suggest that you end your SL romance relations and find a way to get bored. Aint those gestures silly -in fact really stupid- after a while?

I wish I had all this time and energy back, now I have to pay that price.

I'm not sure if its sl or its just us. I am walking away from it finally. I wish I could uninstall it and that it would end my avatar-the 30 days or whatever it is that your avatar is still intact makes it harder. I started sl innocently. I thought it would be fun to travel without leaving the house because I could not afford to leave my house. I had a fiance' that I loved. We had problems. His health, he was fighting an illness that made our sex life nonexistent. Otherwise, we were happy. He was the love of my life.

Shortly into sl, over a year ago, I met this guy. He made me laugh-we were newbies about the same time. He was so much more advanced than myself though. He laughed at me for being so akward and clumsy. We developed a great friendship. He went to clubs and hung out-things I didn't get to do in real life. Over the course of a year we both sort of fell into the sexual part of sl-sometimes with each other, sometimes with others. I found myself feeling jealous at times. But we continued to grow closer. I got in trouble a few times with my fiance when he walked in on me and this guy talking. But soon we started talking outside of sl, email, phone, text messages...then we fell in love with each other. The girl who had somewhat of an unsatisfactory life with her fiance' was looking at life with someone else now. But so many miles in between us, and so many lies to my fiance' who by the way is not my fiance anymore. Trying to work things out with him, but in love with two people now. And that cannot be. So a choice has to be made, only I can't do it. So my sl (who at this point is rl too even though we never met) love made the choice for me. Now it is over and guess what? I deserve everything that happens to me. I deserve that I feel like shit. I dont deserve either of these men. I think its all too damaged to repair. I never meant to fall in love with someone else. Now everyone involved is screwed. Why are there so many stories like this. Thanks for letting me share. I needed to vent.

Second Life is a "wasteland of illusion". What could we be doing in our real lives with the time we bleed into Second Life? Something with far more meaning, I'm convinced. Not everyone becomes addicted or dabbles in experiences they wouldn't in real life. But as someone said above, SL has no boundaries, we are so easily deceived into thinking what we do there hurts no one. Our brains are very affected by fantasies. Someone above said she wanted to experiment with BDSM or rape. Talk to a rape victim, a sex slave and perhaps those fantasies might not be so enticing. Those sexual extremes mock what victims had done to them against their will. Every experience, thought, feeling makes us who we are, they will always be burned into our wiring. I will never forget the intensity of Second Life, and I will never regain what I lost in Real Life.

Attention All: I received this via EQW & wanted everyone to know "The Dr. Phil Show is tentatively set to air on October 20 across the United States and Canada. Please visit http://www.exgamer.net for ongoing news and updates." Should be interesting to see if Dr. Phil can give game addiction (albeit not specifically SL) the serious attention it deserves this time around,lol. Thanks!

Yes I'm the same person.
Interesting theory Dave and I believe that you are right. I feel so emotionally connected to this person. It is consuming us both. No my rl mate does not know about this. Actually, I think that he does, he is just ignoring what is happening. He and I do not have a sexual relationship for reasons I am not going to discuss here. It has been this way for some time now. I am considering discussing this with him. That I may need to go out of our relationship to have my needs met. We are roomates basically. We love one another but there is no passion. I love him and do not want to leave him but I am also full of passion and have no outlet for it which is what sl is providing me with. It's turbulent because we (as in the person in sl and myself) are having a very hard time dealing with these intense feelings that are so close to the surface as you pointed out. We have both had our little meltdowns because of this.

I have a theory about SL relationships based on my wife's and my experiences, and those of several friends: having a relationship in SL is like losing one of one's senses - because the physical aspect is absent, the other "senses" of the relationship are amplified to compensate. I know my SL relationships have brought my emotions very close to the surface - I have never been emotional, and now a song or a movie can bring tears to my eyes. It's a fascinating phenomenon, and I would gather very poorly understood. I don't think there's anything wrong with you - I just think it's the nature of closeness in SL.

If your SL relationship is getting turbulent and you might need a break, do you really think now is the time to cross the line into RL? I assume this is all a secret to your "really nice mate?" (Assuming both posts by no-name authors are by the same person.)

Rhino wow. Well said and I appreciate your honesty. I'm doing the same thing but with one person in sl. It has bled over into my real life.
The relationship I have in sl is a powerful one based on sexual fantasy. I'm so drawn to this man that I want to meet him, to sleep with him, and I think of a life with him. I will not act on it but the thought runs through my mind all day long. Right now I feel this urgency to get home and sign onto sl to see him. I get jealous of other avi's. This is insanity. I feel I'm falling apart. I'm trying to get my mind out of this fantasy and realize that this person is not perfect and it would not be smart to leave my current mate but the thoughts of my sl mate keep consuming me. It's interfering with my relationship. I think the problem is that sl is fuel for our fantasies, it somehow makes them seem more real. I check my emails all the time to see if he has written. When he doesn't, I worry. He wants so much from me and I'm becoming more and more immoral and deviant and contemplating things that suprise me. I feel like some sort of addict or sex addict.

Van
It is messy. I'm wondering what is wrong with me. How did I become so obsessed. For me I think it is just that I became obsessed with my sl partner. He's not really my partner but we talk out of sl using instant message. I'm completely obsessed with him and this image of us. Its a fantasy I know that but I cannot seem to get past it. I have a really nice mate in my real life. Yes we have problems but he's a sweet guy so what am I doing. And I have been doing it for over a year.

I think its a matter of time before someone fills a lawsuit (even if they loose). Maybe one person that was asked by her boss to join SL, and received no preparation whatsoever? Maybe they can suit their bosses for sending them into SL?

I only wonder if this had any part on the reason why IBM retreated its support to LL, after being one of its main backers?

Its amazing the pull it has, any person gets sucked in! Maybe LL wont be blamed, but some controls might be enforced on them, like maximum hours per day or using only real names... (taken form the credit card) Who know but this is messy.

I'd like to post something here. I've installed/uninstalled secondlife for over a year. My real problem seems to be the sl relationship I have. It is the typical scenario. I am in a real relationship that has problems. I have gotten very close to another person in sl. Yet now my sl relationship is getting turbulent. We might both need to break from each other. I'm doing immoral things. I'm not making an excuse, it is not sl at fault, it is me. This seems to be a good outlet for that, sl. It is a very sexual outlet. I'm becoming out of control again. I am so connected to this person and very close to meeting.

Rhino:

"I am asking anyone who wants to get involved in going after Linden Labs for creating SL and allowing users to create landmarks that are ruining families in the process. Something has to be done. Any takers?"

By "going after Linden Labs," what do you mean? A lawsuit? For what cause of action? Intentional infliction of emotional distress? Prima facie tort? Negligence? Breach of contract? Even if those were remotely viable claims against the creator of a virtual environment, the thing about SL is that the Lindens don't create the poseballs and the sims - they just create the tools that /allow/ those things to be created. Don't take this as my saying you don't have a point - on average, SL clearly does more harm than good. But that's because of what people go there wanting - it's what people desire, and it wouldn't exist if people didn't want it.

Either way, congratulations on getting out, and from the sound of it, keeping your life. I hope you know that makes you either smart or lucky, and probably both. And thank you for sharing your story with us. Maybe someone here will condemn you as "weak" - I have seen enough - in RL, in SL and here - to know otherwise.

Where do I start? It seems that some people just don't realize that chatting and having virtual sex with an avatar is not cheating. The physiological response in the brain and the tug on the heart when these relationship blossom are the same as going out and meeting a prostitute in RL.

To the uninitiated, real civil law suits are being filed as a result of actions in SL. Judges have said that the avatars have real people behind them, so the act committed is the same as if it was committed in RL. Guess it's true for sex partners in SL. There are real people behind those avatars.

As for me, I had several SL relationships that turned into real relationships via cell phone, Instant Messaging and email. Planned to leave my current spouse of 20 years for these relationships created in SL. If that's not real, what is? I shunned reality and looked at people in RL wanting to click to check their profile. I wantonly travelled SL looking for women to use and abuse. Got into BDSM - where did that come from? I wanted to teleport to other places in RL.

I thought I was a stable individual, solid marriage, good job, well educated, nice house, great family and I traded it all for virtual environment founded in fantasy. I ended up in counseling for myself and marriage counseling. I'm still in counseling and have to control my addiction on a daily basis. I let my wife put a "blocker" on my computers at work and at home. I have to have barriers set up to keep from "acting out". If you think it's harmless, think again. Sure you'll dismiss me as weak or worse but, I tell you, I was a totally different person in SL. That person is weak and troubled. The real me has emerged and curses the day I was told about Second Life.

SL has attracted alot of "bad apples" who create the places and pose balls that cause us to go wild. The more we succumb to these invitations, the more they will be generated.

I say that RL has a moral line we will not cross. SL is on the other side of that line and, by contrast, no morality exists. Where there is no morality, no barriers, the mind runs wild at the possibilities. The devil's workshop, so to speak.

Ultimately, it comes down to the decisions we make and the morals we accept. Bad decisions and low morals lead to bad results.

I am asking anyone who wants to get involved in going after Linden Labs for creating SL and allowing users to create landmarks that are ruining families in the process. Something has to be done. Any takers?

There is a Tsunami of pornography over the internet infiltrating our moral fiber and it's time to stem the tide.

SN: I have thought about your 9/29 post a lot. I don't really have a lot of content to add or comment on, other than to say I agree with a lot of what you say. My wife and I have both learned some fairly startling things about ourselves and each other in SL, and neither of us considers it a threat to our marriage (despite the fact that we have both become very close with others in SL). I was bothered by your statement that "We ALL keep secrets from those we love, and anyone who says otherwise is either kidding themselves or doesn't have something worth keeping secret." I honestly can't think of a single secret I keep from my wife, and if having a girlfriend I think about all the time, for whom I feel what is very definitely a kind of love, and with whom I talk most graphically about (and very graphically depict) sex is not "worth keeping secret," why would I ever want anything that WAS? I am just so glad SL, in all its details, is something my wife and I don't hide from each other, and I worry for couples who can't communicate openly.

What do you suppose would happen if you and your husband openly owned up to your use of porn and SL, respectively, to "get off?" Do you think he would agree that your interacting sexually with other actual people through a visually realistic medium (though not, I gather, on voice) is "not cheating?" If he felt it was, would you just tell him he was wrong? When my wife started her first fling in SL, it was definitely a form of cheating, because she lied about it and hid it from me.

I don't mean to attack you here - I am just very concerned about the effect SL has on relationships, and very interested in different people's approaches to it, and I suppose I want to see that SL can pose no threat to a marriage even when it is concealed. Your situation is so like mine in some ways, and so different in others, I am fascinated by it. Please don't think I am judging you - I have been in SL long enough to "judge" people only for closed-mindedness, and for the desire to hurt others. You seem to have neither, so you're OK in my book.

First let me comment on the better half statement it in no way is an insult it is just a way of asking a question i.e. (So what have you and your better half been up to today,) if you have never heard it worded that way please do not take it as an insult.
The addiction that I refer to is not one of a sexual nature it is an addiction of the fact that people in large can not deal with regection weather it be a sexual one or one of not fitting into what society has seen fit to throw at us. i.e. are we pretty enough do we make enough money so we can keep up with the jones and so on.

As for the question of him wanting something and not sure that you would accept it is the same thing you say about him. I am not pointing fingers I was just asking a question. Sorry for sending the worng idea...

"After reading the last post I wonder is there something that your better half would like and is afraid to ask you to do in the bedroom? Nothing but a question. I hope we can all beat this addiction including myself..."

I'm not really sure I get your meaning... For one thing, what makes him my "better" half - just the fact that he's not "addicted" to Second Life? And what are you thinking he might be afraid to ask me in the bedroom that would have anything to do with my being "addicted" to Second Life? The point I tried to make in my post was that I don't really see much difference between SL and the internet and magazine porn my husband looks at - both are simply a way to get off...but the more imaginative among us maybe need a little more than a two-dimensional image staring back at us from a screen or a page in a magazine.

The only issue I see with SL, and the reason for most of the problems it causes people, is that some people are not able to separate fantasy from reality...not all of us have that problem lol

As I have read all the comments on this thread or blog what ever you want to call it. I see now that Second Life addiction is real, and I will not call it Internet addiction because this is not internet addiction in its most basic form. This is something new, and yes I know the sims and other games ect... can be addictive this game if you want to call it one has a different way of drawing you in, that being you can live out you utmost and deepest feelings and fantises. This alone scares me and most others here. The questions we must ask ourselfs is why this program that is nothing but a chat line can do this?, I alone can not answer this question. I have read where people lose themselfs in this sim/chat/game weather it be away to not be able to cope with real life in a mannor that they see as something to them that is impossible to deal with in real life. I must confess that I too was drawn in by the way you can be somebody eles in apperance and the way you interact with the world at large. For the most part Second life is away for people with low self esteem, and fantises that in the real world would be looked down as different. After reading all the post I agree that the sex my be the most drawing of all that second life has to offer. After reading the last post I wonder is there something that your better half would like and is afraid to ask you to do in the bedroom? Nothing but a question. I hope we can all beat this addiction including myself...

I've had an SL account for about a year, went on a few times, but only in the last several weeks did I start going on daily. You see, I am into BDSM in real life, or at least I would if I could convince my husband to do it. He's a bit hesitant with any of that stuff. I'll disclose here since it's anonymous, but let me say that my kinks are called "edgeplay" and consist of strangling and hanging, stuff that's not to easy to deal with in RL, and I also have rape fantasies. What I have found in SL is a "safe" alternative. I can "live out" my fantasies vicariously through my little 'mini-me' in SL. Who am I hurting by doing this?

I suffer from social anxiety in RL, as well as extremely low self-esteem; not so in SL. SL has opened up a whole new world to me, much like AOL did back in the 90's. To this day, some of my best friends are online friends I made in AOL chatrooms, and this on the computer my hubby got me for our first anniversary. So these are friendships that I've had for the last 11 years, of which my husband is well-aware. Are there things I might tell a friend, RL *OR* SL, that I don't tell my husband? Or course! "OMG, I'd dump DH in a heartbeat if Johnny Depp gave me a second look!" I've compared breast size with some of my friends; have discussed BDSM with some of my friends. It's all a matter of who is interested in what. The key is to keep a firm grasp of what is REALITY and what is FANTASY.

We ALL keep secrets from those we love, and anyone who says otherwise is either kidding themselves or doesn't have something worth keeping secret. I write erotica, and I'm too embarrassed to tell my husband about it. Does that mean I'm going to stop? No! My husband visits porn sites on a pretty regular basis, and I'm almost certain he gets off on them. He's never come right out and told me this, but I have come close to catching him in the act. I just discreetly ("ahem") give a clue that I'm approaching and give him time to get the page off the screen. What do I care? He's not going home with any of those girls. These are essentially "secrets" that we don't necessarily want our spouse to know...what harm does it do that we keep them secret??

I cyber in SL; how else can I "live out" my hanging and rape fantasies?? And what am I doing when I do that but helping someone else to live out his fantasy as well perhaps. I'm not going home with him (if he is even a "him," let's be honest).

My husband and I have been together for 17 years, married for 11, and I was a virgin when I met him. I am no more likely to "run away" with one of my cyberlovers than I am to be swept off my feet by the likes of Johnny Depp LOL. Cybersex is not "cheating" - it's obvious that most of the people posting here are American since we here in America have such hangups when it comes to sex! Cybersex is merely two people getting off. It's porn, plain and simple. SL has just brought it to a whole new level.

People leave their spouses for any number of reasons; don't blame an online community. And before you blast me for this, I realize that not everyone addicted to SL is there for sex...so just consider that my post is written for those who might be.

Someone mentioned Suicidal attacks, as a mean to get out of SL. Seems someone beat you to your idea.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbKI5LwwbYk&feature=related

All of the warnings in the world hasn't stopped people from smoking cigarettes, doing drugs, drinking alcohol, gambling, pornography, etc. They can even know the havoc these addictions cause in their lives. All the stories, the warnings, especially in the media give them more appeal than repel. I'm not ignorant to believe some of this doesn't help, but they don't cure. And most believe "it won't happen to me."

It isn't widely accepted that internet addiction is a serious affliction. Until truly regarded, respected professionals recognize it as such, all of these efforts won't carry much weight. Nor are there therapists, psychiatrists who are greatly familiar with Second Life addiction in particular.

If you have a problem with addictive behavior get help. There are ways to deal with it.

Outlets such as this blog and others do shed light on Second Life addiction and help. It's wonderful that many of you want to find ways to "help" all us addicts but talking, arguing, thinking up schemes to rid us of this affliction doesn't help.

Actually, sorry, talking does help. It's a therapeutic way of expressing in "real" words exactly what we are going through. But until concrete action is taken, this blog can even become an addiction.

If you really want a place to start simply uninstalling SL isn't going to cut it. It takes me less than five minutes to install it again.

First cancel the email you have on your account.

Delete every bit of inventory you have and then trash it. Everything.

Delete your payment information.

Change your password with some random, complicated one and then cancel your account. Then burn it. I did. It was really satisfying.

THEN uninstall SL. No you cannot retrieve a forgotten password because LL cannot send you the link because you already canceled the email address. It will bounce back.

Simple? No it isn't easy. Most of use have spent hundreds, thousand, of dollars, spent hundreds of hours, wasted precious time and have memories, so intense they are real, but only because your brain can't differentiate where they were experienced. They are burned into you just as if they happened in RL. You don't have to convince me it's a fake world but with real people behind the masks. But you know what? Pick out everything that was real for you in SL and you will only find bits and pieces of yourself and whomever helped you make those memories. When you turn off your computer, all of it just dissolves into pretty little pixels.

But the damage, the lost relationships, the lost opportunities, the integrity that was compromised cannot easily be repaired, if at all. But resolving to get a real life and stepping out your door is one hell of a good start.

Lin

THANKS for your comments, Souring, Dave!

In being respectful for some people's feelings and comments I want to extend my personal opinions and actions on another place, on a personal blog.

I think its fair. for what I am trying to achieve and also in respect for others here. Its just too intense perhaps!

I like this blog, it has helped me a lot, however and I have overdone myself in trying my ideas and actions. In the future I wont publish so much here, unless I think its appropriate, don't make a party just yet - I wont leave you entirely, will just be a nicer blogger :)

Just for you to know, I don't log in to SL for more than 8 hours PER MONTH! anymore, which I think its great. I have worked myself out of it. Thanks for your concerns. Work and family are my top and main priorities nowadays. Today I am not an addict one bit I have had conversations with my family about this and I have exorcised this one.

I know to your eyes my actions might make me look like a crazy activist, that needs the alibi of a crusade to get the fix!!!) I been told all that before, no offense taken :)

To explain my reasons here will be taxing to some readers of this blog, one has explicitly told me she is tired of me, on a different media. Ouch!

Dear souring ! The last thing I would wish is to suggest anyone to ever connect to SL! Pleas NEVER DO IT! I would like the time it took from me back!

I was aiming to those who already have an account and know of it. To vote on JIRA (those that have a sl account) don't need to log in, Its just a blog like this one.

So here all I will do, moving forward, is to say hi, give my best wishes. And post the occasional news on my personal crusade, on a short fashion.

I also have to say that some people have been very nice to me, very supportive and back my request, from their own corners and with their styles and tools. THANK YOU!

It is also truth! I did sent an email to those people, that left their emails here, I sent an email requesting cooperation. Won't happen again.

Anyways, I am not totally done on my crusade just yet, I am preparing a speech to a Major University to some Law Students who have been dragged into SL! By their professors. (Yes with no warning at all whatsoever).

That is the last attempt I do at my simple, and straightforward action request of placing a Cautionary Note inside SL mentioning Internet Addiction.

I most humbly apologize, for overdoing myself here, if that was the case to anyone. In dealing with this phenomenon my 1st clear rule was NOT to judge.

None of us knows who is on the other side of the blog. My intentions are 100% clear on my mind I been thinking a lot on this, I feel it MUST be done. But I am also not made of rock and I know this has been an up-hill struggle all this time.

But I tell you this, my struggle to add, any form of cautionary note serves the purpose of creating awareness. Most of you rightfully want nothing to do with SL anymore, in my case I want Balance, I think I found it for me and I want a healthier environment.

You see I am not against LL, like I was characterized by someone. Its is just a very complex matter. And virtual communities will be a part of our future or of many peoples futures.

But I have said enough already.
Any of you who want to check my blog is so very welcome. Those who don't, hey, not a problem.

http://monymarkovaaddiction.blogspot.com/

Thanks!

lgt: I most humbly apologize. If I have learned anything these past several months, both here and in SL itself, it's that there is a whole wide world out there, and a lot more people have valid positions and opinions than I would once have acknowledged. There's no one here, present company specifically included, who doesn't have the best intentions and motivations, and while we may not all want the same things, we do agree that people are hurt by SL, and we all want to help. I need to remember that myself before I go off half-cocked on a member of what I very much view as a community I belong to. Please accept my sincere apology.

Dave, my comments above were directed mostly at m mony (who is still playing the game, yet wants to be an activist to change the linden software) not you. My only comment to your post was that most people who are suffering from any addiction, do not want the spotlight and glare of mass media.

I normally would not even be angry about activism (again directed at m mony) but I got emails from him, and read a bunch of posts to this site that seemed, because he is trying to build a "letter writing" campaign" to the lindens, to be "political". There was one point where he emailed the whole group and asked them to contact the lindens. I see that as political.

Reading and posting to this blog has certainly helped me and I post here to keep myself on track with my addiction recovery and to offer support. I think that is why all or most of us are here and I definitely not trashing you in any way Dave.

Lgt

Actually a few weeks ago Dr. Phil did a segment on his show about a man addicted to EverQuest. It was only a 15 minute segment as the topic was generally about different types of addictions such as gambling, MySpace, EverQuest, ect... Members of EQW were approached by the show as they now want to do a full hour about the problem. One of them was flying off for the taping when he last reported in. The actual date for the airing is still unknown however,will keep the group posted on future info.

The irony is that Dr. Phil has already done a segment about SL in the past and barely scratched the surface of the addiction aspect while basically selling the game for them. Plus he seems to be rather clueless on how bad the problem really is (along with most of the media in general) as all he kept saying to the EQ addict was 'you do realize this is a game right' and compared it to monopoly!?! So lets hope he takes the matter more seriously this time around, lol.

The problem with online addictions of any sort is to the outside world and most likely the addict themselves it doesn't seem like much of a problem. As long as the bills get paid, what's the problem right? It's not like their addicted to drugs/alcohol,ect.. I've heard all the excuses. In fact I have heard many in the SL community compare it to nothing more than virtual TV. Claiming that the reason networks were reporting on the addiction aspect recently is that it takes away from their TV ratings!!! Ha, ha, mind you this all comes from the great minds of people who love to display their avatar in everything they write. Yet in real life are shambles of their former selves and barely participate in the real world anymore for fear of missing a moment in oh so much more important SL, lol.

Plus the fact that not to many people are into 'airing their dirty laundry' so to speak on national TV. Even the EQW requested he appear in shadow for fear of problems for his children which I totally understand. So the word is getting out there. Just like with the recent SL stalking/kidnapping case it sheds more light onto the ugly side of this fake perfect world.

M, if you read my above post I think you'll have a better understanding of why non-gamers like myself refuse to go in world to help your cause. I offered the 'Self-Suicide Institute' idea as I think gamers would take that seriously when they need it and it could give them some sort of closure in leaving. Especially if they know they can't pick up where they left off even if they re-install the game as all their property will be gone to donation along with their avatar. I do not fear LL. Rather it disgusts me to much to go in world.

No ones forcing you 'against your will' to be there or for you to now be the 'one and only in world SL is bad spokesperson/player'. Can you honestly say if your signs were to be installed that you would then leave SL and never log in again? If you have found a rational way to now play, I think that's great that you've found a happy medium to being a former addict/slave to the game. Yet hiding behind this cause still doesn't change the facts that your still playing the game. People are not 'bashing you' as you think rather just pointing out the obvious truth of it. If we were in any other 12 step program (as I too see this board somewhat like that) would you get mad for AA members pointing out that your still hanging out in the bar? I think it would be easier for others (myself included) to take your cause seriously if you approached it from a 'hi, I'm a former SL addict who had to learn the hard way how to now play rationally and want to put up warning signs for others'. Rather than profusely saying your being forced to go in world just for the 'sake of others' while still playing the game. Until you confront that issue people will continue to question you and call you on your motives.

I love this blog and all the debate/support it offers. So none of this seems to political to me. We all have our own opinions and at times they clash, such is life. Right Dave? Ha! ha! Yet I think we can all can agree that this board has helped us in some way or another and that's really what matters most. Thanks Eric, we wouldn't have any of this without you keeping it going!!!

Lgt, I respect the fact that you think I should not post here because I don't have what you believe to be the correct perception of SL addiction. My point, however, is that I want to help people, and that if I had had the information that's here before my wife and I went into SL, it would have saved a lot of pain. I don't see how disseminating information about SL's addictive properties is "political," and frankly the post you're responding to was addressing Mony's interest in informing people about the dangers of SL, not your purposes in posting here. Also, I just floated an idea, and specifically said I wasn't the person to run with it. I have a hard time seeing that as "spearheading" anything. That being said, I reiterate that I respect your opinion, however much it appears to be an attack on my approach to, as you put it, "offering support."

If I wanted a "wide audience" for my addiction story, I would email Jerry Springer. I posted my story on this blog to help myself heal and to help other struggling addicts, much in the spirit of a 12 step type of outreach. This blog is getting a bit political for my tastes, and I am not sure that people who are still actively on sl should be spearheading political movements regarding sl addiction on this blog.

In any case, I for one would like to see this blog go back to the spirit of people posting their stories and offering support.

Just my opinion...

Lgt

MMM: Reading your post I just thought of another possible approach to getting the word out about how seductive and destructive SL (and EQ and WoW, etc.) can be. I'm sure we've all seen news articles about SL, whether it's the lawsuit involving (I believe) Strokerz, or the woman who tried to abduct her SL lover in RL, or any of a bunch of other SL-related stories, but I don't recall seeing any stories about the devastation caused by some people's inability to balance SL and RL. I have heard of a young couple who got in trouble for neglecting their baby while in WoW, but this issue has gone largely unnoticed by the media.

Maybe if we start writing news outlets, local and national, print and broadcast, suggesting stories, offering personal testimonials, we might generate enough interest for an article or two. Realistically, that might be the best way to reach a wide audience, not of *existing* SL members, but of the ones who really need the information: *potential* ones. My own story doesn't fit the mold (and there are aspects of it I would just as soon avoid my extended family, employers, etc. knowing), but others here have stories that have Human Interest Piece written all over them.

Just throwing this out there - does anyone think this has any potential for success?

Hi-

Sorry I have taken this on such an active note has I have. And this has bothered some of you, some to a personal level.

Its not my intention to bother anyone here I am just trying to act, on what I see so clearly.

I wish I could edit or delete many of my comments, they have changed, there has been an evolution on my feelings, ideas and acts, but I cant delete the past and all of it its part of me.

I was so desperate when I found this blog. I tried everything I came on my mind to achieve my release from it, and in trying to find a way out I used what I know how to do.

Just for you to know (since some of you have implied to know my personal situation), I am very well balanced on my SL time now. I log in 2-4 hours a week or don't enter it for weeks in a row. I don't feel that rush I used to log in. I temper and measure my time. And my family knows when I log, no secrets no anything.

My original idea, was to find any means possible to place awareness signs on SL. I was sick to hear OUR stories and to see I was not alone, I had to do something. Impractical and hard to do, of course, but I just cannot stay with my arms crossed.

Last thing I wish to do is to be a cause of frustration for any of you. I also been disappointed that only a few of the commentators here have agreed to take this discussion into LL's turf. Why don't we dare telling LL? On a place they Do listen, like the JIRA blog (We can comment on a serious, respectful manner), lets us all this discuss this on a place they are hearing, and some action can arise from. I just cant believe no one stands out.

Contrary to some person comments, No I Don't think they, LL, are the enemy.

I opened (against my will) and due to some ppl request an office in-world. Which I closed when it proved fruitless. I moved on.

I understand you think I did all this because needed a reason to log in, pls. believe this is not the case. I also faced the other side of the reality that... awareness needed to be inside. People has the right to be advised!

I am happy I have taken an active role, because I have learned much about this.

I don't have the strength, time or resources to fix this, but there is a very practical and viable possibility.

As you know might know there is an official LL blog where the analyze new things to add to the game. its called JIRA

I have started a petition to place such a mention on that blog, its rocky road up-hill and your votes and positive comments would not hurt, I am not requesting the crazy things ppl thinks, but single simple step. At this moment the petition already has 14 votes! Which is great.

Being this so complex -it needs to be made simpler- I hope this one clarifies this petition for all interested.

1. It is a real phenomenon
2. Players join in with no knowledge of it
3. A note referring to it, will inform those who read it. THATS ALL!! nothing more I am asking for.

I am 100% sure that awareness its a 1st step towards a bigger solution and it might help someone somewhere. That is it.

Maybe I am totally wrong. But this initiative does not feel otherwise, as much as I think of it.... It has to be the language I use, maybe I am confrontational? Aggressive? I wish there was a better advocate, or a better answer. But guys! People bashing me seems to have only attacks and reasons why this is not a good step, but not a single, counter offer, or better idea.

Truly yours
Mon

http://jira.secondlife.com/browse/MISC-1515

P.S. And if you want to write me and not take other peoples time and space... pls do it at my email, just click on my name.

P.S. Some of you say you want to start a "Serious blog to work - real answers on this"- not like my annoying actions.

Maybe addicts and former addicts could be less judgmental of our motives and actions?

SGP: Hearing that you have your husband back brought me tears of joy. I am thrilled and delighted and relieved, having thought about you, and some of the other posters here, a lot over the last weeks and months. Thank you so much for letting us know your good news. It has made my day.

Reading here, I have also thought about in-world ways to help people get out for good. I envision a service that buys avatars - pennies on the dollar for what was spent, but once you have sold someone your AV and all its possessions, you no longer have the RIGHT to reactivate your account, forcing you to start over from scratch. I can't help but think that might help some folks stay out - a contractual arrangement that completely forecloses the option of getting back in without starting from nothing. (Of course, other services would be offered, such as advice on port-blocking, strategies for "hiding the keys" from oneself, and support like this blog and www.secondlifeaddiction.net [and I am still stunned how few of you have actually gone there and participated since one of us invested the effort to set it up]).

But I digress. SGP, you rock. Enjoy your life!!!

Wow, haven't checked in here for quite a while and am glad to see things have finally taken a turn for the better!!! Wanted to give an update to my above posting from late January. I am happy to report that for the last 6 months things have greatly improved and my husband and I are finally back on track. Like any marriage we still have our day to day up's and down's. Yet I am ecstatic to report that SL is not one of them-nor any video game for that matter!!!

It took about 2 months after confronting him for my husband to finally come out of the 'SL fantasy fog' and seriously take how I felt to heart/start repairing our relationship. I never gave him ultimatum's and demanded he quit in that time. Rather I tried to drawl him back into our life/hobbies and love him without enabling his behavior or drive myself crazy in the process. Got a lot of great real words of wisdom via EQW=the EverQuest Widows Yahoo group which is an excellent source for anyone going through this problem. Just substitute SL for EQ as game addiction is game addiction in the end, lol.

Like the above poster I have also been disgusted by some of the comments here and have let it be known on several occasions. Although my comments fell on deaf ears and was mostly seen as 'misdirected anger over my husband and my own situation' I can firmly attest that was not the case. Nor do I regret expressing myself. Yet what I have come to realize is this is the true difference between the people addicted to the game itself and the loved ones that are having to deal with the addiction and behaviors of the addict. Despite everything on some level they will always see some merits gained by playing whereas non-gamers view the game like the crack it is!

Perhaps this is why M's idea of in world warning signs failed as it is sort of like hanging out in a bar to convince alcoholics to stop drinking, lol. On one hand I commend M for trying to accomplish this. On the other hand I feel this is just an excuse to still be in world and keep playing the game. Also there was no way in hell to convince non-gamers (mostly partners/spouses of addicts) to sign up to SL even under the guise of voting on the warning signs as most of us would rather set ourselves on fire than ever be involved in SL or the games that have caused such problems in our lives.

Personally I think a better idea is to set up a 'Self-Suicide Institution' where people can go to kill their own avatars before they uninstall the game as this is truly the only way to leave SL. Since so many seem to be held back from leaving due to pretend belongings (in real life none of this exists other than the bills ran up plus the time wasted and have nothing real to show for it which is why I say pretend) they can donate their money in promoting the Suicide Institution (or to this very blog as Eric has updated with a Paypal donate feature) and keeping it going. That way they could leave feeling as if they had truly made a difference and not be drawn back into it so easily.

I posted all this not to brag or bash, but to let others know there is hope and things can get better. Not all of us can turn things around and sadly many relationships/marriages will end over game addiction and all that it entails. It took a lot of hard work and effort, but in the end I have my best friend of 25 years back and it was all worth it! Just want people to know there can be life after SL and to not give up hope whether that means staying and working things out or starting a new phase in life on their own. The choice truly is up to you and you alone. Good luck to all that read this!!!

I have to echo M.D. way up there. I read through half of these comments, stopped at M's "in-world support group" and got extremely frustrated with M.

M, for God's sake, stop talking about it, stop going in world, uninstall the freaking thing and get over it. Stop writing diatribes here. As you correctly put it, this isn't all about you.

I had a huge problem with this game -- and YES, I'm calling it a GAME, which is a mortal sin in SL. During the past six months, I have spent $1,200 to $1,800 ($200 - $300 a month) there -- and that's in real-life dollars. I lost touch with my REAL friends, I stopped dating, I holed up in my apartment and lived on pizza and beer, I stopped cleaning, and my very prosperous career went to hell. Fortunately, I'm a single (formerly vivacious and outgoing) woman and the only person I harmed during this weird phase was myself. Yes, I retreated to SL to dodge my heartache from a RL breakup. I got hooked.

Ironically, as with many people, my company asked me to explore SL as a potential marketing opportunity -- that was my introduction to the place. And yeah, I too met a great "guy" there (who knows who the hell he really is) and blah, blah, blah. It's a fantasy, like crushing on an unattainable movie star when you're a teenager. It's "safe" because you don't have to deal with the problems real couples face, the dates are always perfect, the sex is always beautifully choreographed, and you can be a physically flawless person there. Hell, you don't even have to clean up messy bodily fluids after a night of wild, fake sex.

The wake-up call came this morning, literally from my Visa card, calling to make sure all the SL charges actually were mine and not some teenaged identity thief's. I've also gotten a little too wrapped up in some "drama" there with "young women" who are most likely A BUNCH OF BORED HOUSEWIVES. In fact, one of them even said to me yesterday, "Be right back -- I have to change the baby's diaper." That's when a wave of disgust swept over me and I felt sick.

This morning, like many of us here, I searched for "Second Life addiction" on Google and found this blog. I read through a few comments, said "This is NOT going to be me," slapped myself hard in the face, uninstalled Second Life, canceled my account and CLEANED MY DAMN KITCHEN for the first time in months.

M, get back to your real life in more ways than one. Kill the stupid application on your computer, stop visiting this blog, stop talking about it and GO OUTSIDE AND BREATHE FRESH AIR. Read a book. Do some volunteer work. Honest to God, it's as simple as that. Take it from someone who's spent almost $2K in hard-earned American dollars there and is now trying not to think of the fact that I've wasted all that and six months of my life on a stupid virtual game.

Life -- REAL life -- is SO DAMN SHORT. I don't have a husband and I can't have children. If you have either, for the love of God, CHERISH THEM. You have a beautiful real life that some of us envy. The fact that you're turning your backs on these beautiful gifts makes me want to weep.

I am disgusted with myself and quite a few people here, and yeah, I was one of you for a while, so I guess I have the right to express that opinion.

Hi all,

why is it so hard toleave SL? I think we get something like a second identity. Giving up this identity is not easy. I left SL in May and I am happy that I did it. I began to feel uneasy there, I missed my real life. I said good bye to everybody and left. I was thinking of deleting my account but I was not able. Too much memories - a part of me. I did not come back and today I learned to life my RL again. Now there is nothing left wich could force me back to this virtual world. Maybe a good way for somebody who is in danger not to stay away of SL, delete immediately the account. Maybe it hurts but it makes it more difficult to go back. Only an idea. I wish you all the best and that you manage to get rid of this prison called SL.
Allways safe path.
Kralli

Hi Lin,

Contact me at Lgt525@gmail.com. I am assuming no one else will abuse this email address.

Lgt

Dear Lgt,

I would like to talk to you on a more personal level, but I have no idea how to exchange email addresses. To connect with you would alleviate some of the anxiety of having no one in my RL who even comes close to understanding SL.

Lin, as one of the most egregious offenders in the "lengthy posting" department, I will be uncharacteristically brief. There is a forum, set up by a poster here, that has sort of languished for the last few weeks. I'm sure by now you will have seen it mentioned, but if you haven't been, I highly recommend it - I suspect it just needs a certain "critical mass" of members to take off:

http://www.secondlifeaddiction.net

If you've been reading above, you know my take is different from most others' here, but I admire your courage and your willingness to make the change you need in your life, and will do anything I can to support and encourage you.

On a related note, I wonder if there is any parallel group of recovering World of Warcraft addicts? I wonder if some joint efforts might more effectively pool resources and support. Interesting - must give more thought and research.

Also, I've noticed many people have complained of the the length of the comments here, of which I am so guilty of as I see!

Therefore, another way to offer support in a different format seems a good way to accommodate those who wish to share their own stories in greater depth (I think just talking and getting it out is great therapy) and those who would like to use this in the true sense of a blog.

Hi Lin,

You are doing a GREAT job of committing to a fuller and more enriching real life. Filling my time after leaving sl was the hardest part of leaving sl for me. Here is what I did the first week to stay off of sl.

1. I watched a dvd movie every nite during prime time. This filled up the key hours I would have been on sl. I turned it into a treat. I made popcorn, etc and picked my favorite movies.

2. I read a book fear of intimacy, so that I could understand why I was choosing fantasy relationships over real ones.

3. I pulled out my dusty electronic keyboard and played music for an hour a day which by the end of the week expanded to two hours a day.

4. I sent emails to, or called each and every one of my real life family members and friends to reconnect with them.

5. I went for a long walk each day to get out of the apartment and into the real world.

6. I went online a planned a vacation to reward myself if I made it through one month off of sl.

7. I cleaned my apartment and put it back into order from the chaos I had allowed it to become when I was addicted to sl and online all the time.

8. I pulled out all of my old creative projects and just looked at them to try to rekindle a connection to my creative self.

9. I wrote emails to my sl exes "dear john" letters, but didnt send them. I wrote them over and over again, explaining to them in these fake unsent emails why I was leaving sl and why it was unhealthy.

10. I signed up for a yoga class.

These activities did not fully get rid of my grieving or my loneliness, but they helped. If you want more frequent contact, let me know and I will figure out a way to get you my email address.

I will check this board frequently to be available if you want to talk.

Lgt

I re-read the above posts to keep on track and remind me in black & white the devastation SL caused in my life and in others. However, a support group format would be really helpful but I have no idea how one would go about this. This blog has been a life saver but is anyone interested in a forum type platform?

Thank you Lgt and DrTime for your kind words. It has helped more than you know. I'm working on this very hard, and I believe, I hope anyway, I have the best handle on this so far. Just one day at a time.

Even though my life picks up and I can untangle some of the messes I've made it's not comfortable, it's sometimes worse. Thinking that all of a sudden making the commitment to change will bring all kinds of peace and forgiveness of self hardly comes overnight. Although, I so wish it would. I think I love to dwell on it and feel sorry for myself. Or maybe it's just a grieving period. I also left a fairly intense relationship in the middle without a goodbye.

Filling in all that empty time is hard and painful. Running wasn't easy either, I trained hard probably felt if I could do something hard and feel accomplished it would somehow make the separation from SL easier.

And there will always be some kind of trigger to run back into SL. Then the cycle begins again. It's recognizing the triggers. Each day brings some kind of rationalization to step in but there comes something tangible in the struggle to stay away. It takes open honest eyes to see it and make the more difficult if better choice to sweat it out.

Thank you for the help to hold on. You are right about the first week, and I appreciate the hope you expressed of restoring some of what that time took away. Both of you have struggled and left behind a great deal more than I have. I think it's just been the length of
time in SL. I really split into two worlds. Four years in SL is a lifetime.

Lin, you are a brave and great person for taking that step of leaving sl. I wish you the best of luck, but I doubt you will need it. You seem to have a grip on Life and I meen Real Life, if you have read all of the post you know what I have been through from both ends of the game... I will agree that it is addictive, I will also agree that I can see where you are comming from. Keep up the good work and please keep us posted on your progress please.... Again the best of Real Life to you...

Lin, be very very proud of yourself that you have had the strength to stay away from sl for three days. SL addiction is like a heroin addiction and the first week is the hardest. It will get easier, I know this from personal experience.

Don't beat yourself up for the time you lost to sl. Look forward to all of energy and time you are now going to have for your running, your family, yourself, your real life passions. And remember, SL is like a warped Alice in Wonderland looking glass world. The people who are the most successful in sl often are successful at the expense of their real lives, their real lives get more and more unsuccessful as they immerse in sl. I know a man (who is a female av in sl) who declared bancruptcy in real life because he lost his job while spending all his time in sl. Yet he doesnt' even deal with that at all. He is so proud now that his is a sim owner and is "somebody" in sl (his own words) remember that this is distorted world you are leaving behind in sl and be proud that you have the courage to post here and stay away.

Lgt

Thank you for commenting Lgt. I have kept SL such a secret, for the most part, the past two years. Really, really sneaky about what I was doing here. The first two was different. When I started SL there were only, maybe, 5000 residents. So it was a small community. Plus we all looked the same. When a new resident arrived everyone was there to greet them and share clothes, advice and support (I guess that could translate into support to become an addict). Which happened right away...but that year of my SL experience was the most fun.

What is so very sad is my daughter was so frustrated with me on the computer all the time I made her an account so she could see how fascinating it was. At that time SL was fairly clean. There was no gambling, camping, you could get free Lindens donated by other residents. This was before the teen grid. I really kept a good watch out for her but she made some very good friends. Which meant her RL life suffered for awhile. When I talked her into going to the teen grid, she was so seasoned in building and starting different kinds of clubs (not night clubs) and businesses she had a good time. She got involved in Global Kids and that was the last summer that held any interest for her. She logs on, maybe twice a year, but she thinks it's so weird now, thankfully, and holds no interest for her. She's a great kid. Unfortunately, I was still stuck.

It's amazing how much I wanted to make my being in Second Life acceptable I would even introduce my own child to it.

I too owned land, first land when it was a lottery system. Ansche Chung owned land right next door. What a riot, eh? Someone told me not to sell my land to her because she was a land baron. When many of my friends left, I quit SL for about 6 months and when I came back it had grown so much. The first thing that was so absurd was the Slave Role Play thing. I was appalled! The gambling, the age play all of it just turned me off so I simply stayed away from all of that and made my own fantasy hell as you described. Bought more land, bought houses, furniture except I made sure it was all fantastical I hated the domesticated thing. I spent so much money on my avatar and clothing. I kept SL on a very ethereal level most of the time. Still I was planting gardens and when I would ever enter the real outside I would look at my own gardens and think, hmmmm, I have the exact same flowers in my pretend garden.

When I first found SL, I was just surfing the web. Not even looking for a virtual reality environment. I was curious about There but that was totally obnoxious. The morning I decided to try SL, I was in my running clothes procrastinating my run. I had run two marathons and many races before this whole SL hell came into my life and on that day I gave it up. For four years. I just ran my first 5k on my Birthday and you know what? The race would have been better if I had stayed off of SL as I had done the whole time I had been training. I tracked down a friend who had started a relationship with a woman. He had bought an island and had naked pictures of him and her on the wall! I was so disgusted. I was hurt because I thought he was different. I had known him for a year and I would never have believed he would do that. I know that sounds out of the realm of all the sexual weirdness in SL but you know? I actually expected someone I had grown to respect and like very much to be better than that. Does that make any sense?

Anyway, I realized if an unreal world could affect something as important as my first race in years than something was so wrong, it just had to be that last straw. If you hadn't posted today, I would have checked in, "just to see" what was going on in SL. Today is my third day. Actually, it was Monday I discovered this blog and reading all the devastating stories made me look at myself and be honest, that what I had done was as awful as it gets, maybe worse.

Hi Lin,

It's not easy to quit sl, but it gets easier with time. I have been off of sl for 4 months now, and I don't miss it at all any more. It feels great to have my life back, even though my real life is not an endless party or adventure like I tried to make my second life. If you read my posts above you will see that I was very invested both financially and emotionally in sl when I quit. I used to use my "investment" as a reason for staying. I spent thousands of dollars on sl in the year I was there, probably five thousand dollars or so in a year if not more. When I left I had a sim, a large mall, a club and a HUGE inventory of custom intellectual property and stuff that would be very expensive to replace. On my last day on sl I simply walked away from it all. I turned the sim over to the lindens (ie abandoned it) I shut my accounts down and derezzed the mall, paying the merchants a pro-rated rent back. It was very difficult to do because I had invested so much time and energy and money into sl, but I just couldnt go on spending my entire life in front of a computer screen in a fantasy hell of my own making. When I left sl I was breaking even financially or making a bit of money (a couple of hundred dollars a month extra over my expenses) so I could have gone on indefinitely but if you read my posts above (posted about a month ago) you will see that I was sick of what my sl addiction had turned me into.

For me, the only way to leave sl was to do it all at once and not look back. Cutting my losses allowed me to put sl in the past. I was not beautiful, sophisticated, in the end when I quit sl. I was paranoid, toxic, sexually addicted and in denial. 4 months later, I am not perfect but at least I am real and my interactions with other people are not fantasies.

I am here to help if you need someone to support you in quitting sl.

Lgt

I think the most difficult part of leaving Second Life is the investment. I've spent so much time and money on my account, plus the fact that I am an old resident I seem to think there is some kind of status in that. However, I believe how we invent ourselves in SL...the sophisticated, intelligent, beautiful avatar is how others see us too. In my own mind I've created this person that really only exists in by mind or imagination yet it appears real on the screen except it's a cartoon. But I think or make myself believe others see me this way too.

It's very confusing. And very frustrating because there are so many pieces to this immersive unreality that our brains believe is real. Intellectually, I know exactly what SL is. I know exactly how much of my integrity I've sacrificed, how many relationships I've damaged. But the powerful feelings, the emotion, the euphoria, is something our brain chemicals can't differentiate whether made in a virtual or real world.

SL makes it so hard to quit. They give you so much time to reactivate an account that you can finally talk yourself back into it by rationalization that this time you can handle it. In reading this blog I see that I didn't delete the email account so was readily able to change the password, even though I had someone change the password who I knew wouldn't give it back. (hmmm, but maybe paying him enough money....there I go again!) Anyway, thanks to one of the above posts I am in the process of finally deleting everything. It is slow. I drag my feet.

Seeing in black and white in some of the above stories of cheating, lying, stealing, was a bit of a slap in the face. How much we can deceive ourselves, even though on some rational level we know. I came up with so many ways to buy Lindens from underneath the nose of my husband it's pathetic.

Thank you for reading. It helps to confess sins, if only anonemously. I would so appreciate any support and I would as well love to give my understanding and empathy.

I've been a resident of Second Life for four years. I just came upon this blog yesterday. I have looked for a support group and it would be nice if there was a place for people with this addiction problem. I have tried to quit four times.

hi,
thanks for the response mum doesn't work as she recieves disability pension from the goverment so this pays for everything mind you she cant afford food only accasionally does she go shopping and there is no heat in her house this winter, i just found out she spends her spare cash on second life buying land. Theres no way she will cut back. she goes away for a 2 week holiday next month for a weddding and she is not happy about it at all, even though she doesnt have to pay a cent. she suffers depresion after a broken marriage and that why second life has her hooked all of the attention she gets on there. Thanks to our dad introducing her to it, 18 mnts ago she hated computers and wouldn't even know how to turn one on but thats all changed now.
as for an intervention it wouldnt work she'll just tell everyone to mind there own business its my life.
The kids used to go to her house so i can work but now she comes here after i had to install sl on my comp.
She is isollated and has no one to visit except her family. Iam very concerned.

worried daughters: This sounds like the classic scenario for an "intervention" - where friends and family - everyone affected - comes and confronts her with exactly what her addiction is doing to the people around her, maybe including some sort of consequences. As DrTime suggested, if there is someone else involved who owns the computer, pays the Internet bill, etc., perhaps there can be some sort of line drawn in the sand - cut SL down to a reasonable number of hours per day / week / etc., or you'll be cut off. At a minimum, I would think babysitting is just out - she sounds worse than no babysitter at all, and that is a safety issue for the children. As DrTime says, please try to give us more information - this is a dire situation, and sounds incredibly unhealthy.

And DrTime - why is it we ALWAYS SEEM TO AGREE these days? That seems like one of those end-of-days signs from Revelation or something - lion lays with lamb, Dave agrees with DrTime - the end is niiiiigh!!!

worried daughters, since you did not tell on how she can afford rent and supplys and the electic bill and most important how she gets the money to pay for the internet. From what I can tell from your story she must not work so how does she pay for all of this? I ask this because if she is recieving help from someone then that might be a place to start. Anyway if you do not mind please tell us a little more so we might be able to help. Thanks and good luck

help my mother is addicted to sl
she does not move from her bed yes it is that bad. she has the computer over the bed for the last 18 mnts. When she babysits her grandchildren they litterally fend for them selves. I visited her today, she did not get off the comp just sits there in her dressing gown yes she doesnt even bother to get dressed. her tv has cobwebs and the dust is that thick i can write my name in it. The curtains are never open,the only time she leaves the house is to get supplies and pay rent. she leaves the comp on all night in case she gets a message she must be a light sleeper because as soon as a message comes through she jumps to the computer to respond no matter what the time. just has short naps all day. her online house is imaculant she paints and decorates it regulary. The only coversations we have are about sl and you dont dare phone her as she has no time to speak. and if thats not enough she has multiple avatas multiple partners and has to keep a note book of who is with who beside her bed. she didnt even want to go to her daughters wedding dress rl fitting as she was busy have a baby in sl.
what can i do i cant handle listening to her problems on sl anymore she needs a real life.

when i was sent reeling after a failed sl "romance", i became curious about my own reaction and googled 'sl addiction'. well, bingo...
when i first logged onto sl after seeing the csi new york episode that featured it, i was naively unaware much of sl was a virtual meat market. i quickly found out. i became very involved w/someone who was even newer to sl than i was--trading pics, e-mail, phone calls. she seemed nice. then i saw a quick change in her: she was always talking about buying all kinds of stuff and property, deejaying, camping 24/7 to earn money, etc. this didn't hit the warning bells for me it should have; i just enjoyed the time we spent together. then her 'dates' became fewer and shorter, and she cited rl issues as an excuse; then she stopped contacting me altogether. a few weeks later i checked her profile and discovered an even more profound change--the av was greatly upgraded, and she had not only partnered w/someone but discussed several other close sl relationships. this hit like a kick to the gut, because i would not have believed she was capable of taking such a coward's way out w/me.
then another person i was having a relationship with told me how her husband had nearly booted her after he found out how she had been spending her online time, and that's when i really started to become curious about this fiendly little matrix in which we're involved.
addiction has to be understood as being a two-step process--it is not just the 'rewards' that get people hooked, it is the long dry spells in between the gratifying events. in this sense it is a behavior modification tool, but when b-mod has no goals and no self-awareness or insight on which to frame it, the propensity for self-destruction is immense. the person undergoing the b-mod spirals deeper into limbo searching for that framework. it would be like a baseball game w/infinte innings--how do you know when you've won?
and now reading this blog has been a very illuminating experience. i thought i had been unique and a little batty to have taken things so seriously, but when my friend told me about her upset husband, i realized i might not be so alone in my reactions.
which is all to the point that simply shutting down places like sl, either on an individual basis or the company, is not really an answer to the problem, because virtual communities will continue to become more sophisticated and realistic--think of the Matrix movies--and more people will become involved in it. unless we find a way to come to terms w/this quickly emergent technology, we might as well become resigned to living aimlessly in a dream world.
reading this blog has been like a fan blowing away smoke, and in my case i suddenly don't feel the pull to be always 'checking things out' on sl; i even deleted most of my contacts. i've learned to demand more real discussion from the people i meet online: if they can't form a coherent or self-aware thought, i guickly move on. if they share none of my rl interests, then there seems little point in continuing. even fantasy has to have grounding in reality if there is to be any depth or meaning to it at all. otherwise we are all narcissus, staring enraptured at our own reflections and not realizing it is just us. even the architect in Matrix admitted that creating a wonderful world had been disastrous--"whole fields were lost"--and that people had fared better w/grittier and more realistic versions.
as for those of you who are desperately struggling w/foundering family members...sometimes the kindest thing you can do is walk away. sticking around, cleaning up for them and feeding them and financially supporting them just enables them to continue their slide toward self-destruction in comfort. people will reach out for help when they need it---or they won't. at some point it ceases to be your problem.
good luck to all of us,
been-there-done-that

Marly, maybe I'm just delusional, or in denial (/me ignores the chorus of "YA THINK!?!?"), but I found it hysterical.

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