Wednesday, June 17, 2009

To SLove or Not to SLove: The Stalker

Okay, so, it's been awhile. The last two months of my RL have been so amazingly shitty...I can't even begin to go into it. Suffice it to say that I'm not the same person that I was, that I suffered a very unexpected loss, and that I'm seeing things very differently (which, like most things, is both good and bad). A very sincere thank you to Troy for being my rock, as always. I do not know what I would do without you. You are an amazing friend.

This is a series on the way love is 'played' out in SL that I started long, long ago...and it's been over a month since my last entry. This one is particularly pointless, but it's the best I can do.

I remember the good ole days...stalking involved prank phone calls, driving past someone's house, friends' houses, place of employment, bars he or she might was authentic, and it required actual effort. These days, stalking is done electronically from the comfort of one's own home...facebook, myspace, blogs, twitter, IM, email, texting...and then there's SL.

There are two basic types of stalkers: the ex and the never-was. The ex, pathetically, can't or won't move on, and resorts to cyber-stalking in an effort to stay relevant, to continue to be a topic of conversation, to maintain the connection with their former love. Rehashing things on one's blog, making snide comments on facebook, (or in SL, on one's profile), popping online as soon as you do--just a few of the ways the stalker tries to stay in the picture.

The never-was is exactly that...someone you never dated who is ALWAYS keeping updated on your activities, always IM'ing you, always there--too friendly, too eager, too creepy.

Lots of folks in SL choose to check the box that keeps their online status hidden to everyone except Friends and Groups...and many times, their groups are also hidden or by invitation only. I this because they are the stalker or the stalkee? If you suspect you are being stalked, and you only know the person in SL, you can delete him or her from your friends list, leave all mutual groups, check the aforementioned box, and move on. If you've let that person into your RL, then, you've got all the other avenues of contact to deal with. I know this is another reason people pick up Alts in SL...avoiding the stalker (or is it to become the stalker?) :P

I don't have much else to say on this topic. Having been stalked by an ex in RL, in a situation that became very scary, the concept of cyber-stalking seems pretty lame to me. I know it's hard to let go of the ex or the never-was, but sometimes, a clean break is the best way to heal and....

Next time: The Exes