The “Secrets” culture and why we need to address the problem.

This irks me so much that I’m sitting on my phone and blogging about it while my 9-month-old is having her afternoon bottle and watching Peppa Pig. I had a busy weekend and spent most of it offline while I took the baby to a park and visited family, as well as spending a day with my niece for her birthday.

When I came back and had my phone connect properly to the internet…..chile….I was bombarded with messages from people that saw me mentioned on SL Secrets for the umpteenth time. And again, it was a reference to my RL blog and innuendo that I was going to be “exposed”, as if my personal life is something I keep personal.

Previously, there were screen shots of blog posts and other sneaky mentions that only I would notice, but this time my Second Life name was finally mentioned. I see you boo, you irked me for a moment, but you’re hardly a winner.

I don’t choose to wade in that cesspool of online bullying because as much as it comes across as being monitored, it’s clear that people still get away with sharing personal info and details that turn it into a method of cowardly harassment. Some folks might give a shout out or post something emo about someone that doesn’t love them back, but the rest is slut-shaming, personal attacks, bitching about creators and other negativity that is polluting our population. And the only time I’m prompted to look is when someone notices I’m in there.

Most people say to ignore the problem and it will go away, but it’s been nearly a year since the first time I landed in there. I do get some satisfaction from knowing that whomever it is likely is a miserable person that is contributing little to society. But ignoring it isn’t stopping them.

Me? I’ve hardly been able to be active in Second Life since early February a because of a very urgent adoption process I am going through with my family. I’m working on starting up a business with a humanitarian angle to help people in need here in South Africa (read here if you’re interested in supporting the project). Today I’m returning to a remote job that I loved after being offered a permanent position, which allows me to raise this baby without putting her in daycare, which was a crucial part of my plan to homeschool until she is ready for primary school.

It’s part of having a life, and the folks that post that trash every week clearly need to find theirs.

Part of the problem we have is that the bullying/exposing culture has been fueled heavily by the almost-as-cowardly level of nonsense that people will post on social media. People feel entitled to post transphobic, racist, and invasive content and they clearly have an audience. That site is part of that problem.

I had a discussion with another resident last week and now I see a better perspective of what I was trying to say. The bullies are destroying the social core of what Second Life was envisioned to be. While some of us may be introverts, attacks on our personal lives definitely have created an environment where people are trading social lives for being platform hermits. A lot of us can recount a situation where our life or the life of someone close to us was violated by people that aren’t even “real” enough to show their faces or get on voice. And I’m not naive about the fact that people I respect and care about are avid readers every Sunday.

Guys, that site won’t go anywhere because there will always be supporters. But be mindful of the people that share the filth and approach you with the filth. They are supporting the site by giving it traffic and traction. They’re empowering the toxicity of the culture. I don’t care if they’re a friend, they’re empowering it too, even if it doesn’t come from a malicious place.

I’ve seen people that I love and care about and respect smeared on their by people that need to learn to mind their fucking business and worry about their own back yards.

I hope that more residents can eventually realize that we just need to do better as a community and feed that energy into things that actually matter. I also hope that people that actually need to get professional help seek it out because those who feel compelled to post on a regular basis need to make sure that they take an inward look at the issues that are creating that behavior.

Anyway, had to get that off my chest.

Love and peace,

Bria Oceanside

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