I have been active in the virtual world known as Second Life (SL for short) for a long time now. I first joined SL in 2006, but came back to it in 2008, after a hiatus that lasted a few months. I had tried my hand at blogging about my activity, existence, experiences, loves and thoughts within the metaverse before, but it wasn’t until 2012 that I actually started blogging regularly or semi-regularly about my SL. In SL, I explore the virtual world, enjoy people’s creative expression within it, and practice my own – admittedly limited – creative abilities.
Mona, the SL person
Mona Eberhardt is my avatar; my graphical representation of the person I am in Real Life (RL); I also use her on several social networks. In RL, I am a fairly typical woman; i.e. one who works, tries to make ends meet, pays bills, goes out, tends to the needs of her household and family, has friends and relatives – and also immerses herself in the virtual world in order to (a) indulge in a bit of escapism from RL, (b) enjoy surroundings, happenings and experiences that RL cannot offer. Within SL, I express myself through Mona. She is the daughter of my mind and imagination, and she’s essentially an extension of my personality. I really enjoy observing and exploring the dynamics of SL and virtual worlds in general, and the many ways people express themselves through them. In-world, I’m quite approachable and enjoy meaningful, intelligent discourse. However, I don’t accept random friend requests that come out of nowhere.
Whereas most people try to keep their RL completely separated from SL, I personally think that, if we are to be genuine, aspects of our RL personalities and selves are expressed through our avatars; our avatars may be just pixels on a screen, but the people behind those pixels are real – very real; so, what we experience and feel can be very real and very genuine. My RL is not an entirely closed book, but it’s not open for all to read, either. Some parts of it may be mentioned sometimes, to the extent that (a) they serve a certain article’s purpose, (b) they do not distract from it, (c) they do not take me out of my personal comfort zone, (d) they do not put me, my family, and/or my RL work at any sort of risk. In discussions, I may share some information on my RL, but what and how much of it I will share with a specific person is my decision.