Even if I would love to deny it once in a while, I have a real history. Some avatars try to flee from it by reinventing themselves, as their clickers try to escape their everyday life. You can do this by choosing an overall new look starting with your skin, your shape, your hair etc.. You can as well change the places, where you usually spent time at, like choosing another home. And with the places you can try to change the so called friends you have. You might even delete your old friends from your friendslist. But can you escape your memories or delete them? I don't think so. You can maybe reduce the thoughts spent on certain events or friends by choosing to go on differently, but from time to time there will be a glimpse backwards. And then what? You might try blocking it out fast or perhaps you even might try to make peace with the past.
There might be another choice for your clicker: creating a totally new avatar. But how feels a multiple you? I will think about that later as my avatar mind is restricted in that case. Maybe I'll discuss this with my clicker and will write about the results later.
So, what do you think is the best choice dealing with history and friends in a virtual world? What will the former avatar friends think, when you delete them from your list? Still there is the undiscussed question, if an avatar is allowed to feel sad or even has emotions at all. Who will be more frustrated: you, the one running from your past or the people you leave behind? Or is friendship just so meaningless in a virtual life that it doesn't even matter? Is everything moving so fast you can't grasp it anyways?
There's a thing called friendslist in Second Life. Often a nice chat with a formerly unknown person ends up with a friends offer. Which makes sense if you might want to talk to this person again, as there are about 800.000 useres logging in frequently in Second Life. Theres's another possibility to remeber the person you talked to: exchanging calling cards. Nearly noone uses that one. But can you be a friend after just one talk? Or some even ask to be your friend without even chatting a word. Kinda weird! Why not call this thing contactlist instead of friendslist? I guess it's to make us feel more comfortable and let us see how many friends we have and how popular we might be cause of this.
Let's have a look at my friendslist starting with A.
I realize now for the first time that the list is sorted by forenames. And I find an Abraham there on top of the list. Without looking on his profile, I can't even remember, who he is and why he is my so called friend. Looking at his profile I find out I must have met him in an educational context. But is he still a friend? Has he ever been a friend or is he just a business contact. I guess that's a problem only the working avatars have to deal with.
The second one Aeo...I can remember he is a former student from a real life university where my clicker has taught. I don't remember how we got along, when I was giving lessons. Is or was he ever a friend? I Don't think so, as I needed his contact for teaching reasons. But again a problem not many avatars have to face.
Lets find a "private" contact - makes me think if avatars even have a private life.
There is Angelis. I do remember him pretty clearly. An artist and so called business man in Second Life. I met him at one of my exhibition openings. He was a nice guy, maybe is still, but I haven't met him in ages, it seems. Has he a right to stay on my friendslist? Have I a right to delete him or do I totally forget about him, if I do so and might regret it, when one day I might feel the sudden urge to speak to him?
For now I didn't found any real friend or any contact that really lasted my whole avatar life or a longer part of it. I know that I can find Broesel in the middle of my B-friends. Actually I know him my whole avatar life. And I still would call him a friend. Phew! I never had the intention getting him of my friendslist.
Luckily there are some more avatars on my friendslist I would call friends. But since I have been in Second Life for nearly three years, there are a lot of nominal members as well. I did clear out my friendslist once or twice, but just to remove people I can't even remember anymore. I was cleared out by some as well. Interestingly as well by two friends I have a background with. Both ones I can say had a "real" avatar life, very engaged in their "second lifes". About one elimination I just found out right now, as I didn't try to talk to that avatar in about 2 years. But I still wonder from time to time, what's going on in it's life and looking up the avatar profile I could read: "on an extended SL vacation". The other one is a longer story. Let's say I was kinda astonished finding out the truth. But luckily my clickers intuition prevented me from being badly hurt. Well if I could be hurt, but as mentioned that's another chapter. Writing this I might think, does the fact I got deleted from someones list influence, how people will think about me? Rejection might be something avatars have to live with - again another chapter.
But lets conclude the friends chapter more optimistic. I can say, I am happy to share my life here in Second Life with some real friends. Real as real as in friends or even real as they are as well real friends of my clickers reality, whatever that one is. I'd like to thank those ones, who enrich my avatar life and allow me to survive emotionally (again, if I am able to feel emotions...) in this world.