Over two years ago, I found the world of Second Life (SL), a fantasy world on the internet. I was going thru some very bad times in my personal life, so this game became a much needed outlet to relieve some of the stress I was feeling. After a time, I met several people on SL who told me to beware…it can become very addictive. They were correct. As my real life stress became almost too much to bear, I “moved into” Second Life, spending hours and hours every day and night, living in the fantasy world to escape from the Real Life (RL) issues I was facing.

The reality of SL is it can be very addictive, but it can also be the most rewarding experience of your life if approached as an outlet and also a place to meet new friends. Some of the best friends of my life are on SL. I’ve thought at times of leaving SL for good, but then I would lose those friends. Since my connection to them is on SL, I continue to spend time there.

Some look at SL as a “sex paradise” and that’s why they play the game. What they hopefully eventually remember is there’s a real live person behind every avatar (your fantasy cartoon type character on SL). That person has feelings, emotions, and gets their feelings hurt just like in RL. When someone on SL forgets that, things can become very hurtful and nasty. Feelings are hurt, emotions run rampant, and it turns into a bad place. There are Toronto nightclubs on SL that are escort and stripper hangouts. But you can also find museums, art galleries, non-profit organizations from RL groups working on SL to promote their organizations. The choice what you do with your time is your own.

Close friendships and relationships develop with the same intensity as in RL. The difference is if one chooses to remain aloof and not be involved, that is possible…until the minute “voice” is used. SL has an online “chat” system where you actually use a headset to speak and listen with other residents on SL. Some claim to always keep SL and RL separate…they NEVER mix the two. I personally believe there is NO way one can do that if using voice. The very second that other voice is heard…it becomes Real Life..no exceptions.

I’ve had some of my best times and my worst times on SL over the past 2+ years, but I totally recommend it for anyone lacking something in their life…searching for an outlet for that creative streak. On SL, you can “build” buildings, furniture, trees, plants, etc…and you can also create clothing for the avatars to wear. There are many top notch RL designers on SL, and they are making a good RL income by producing their clothing, selling it to residents and then converting the “Lindens” they earn back to their own RL currency. A Linden is the money exchange on SL.

So, come take a look at SL. I’m the cute, thin, awesome looking blonde…but of course, there are millions of those on Second Life, along with “furries” which are animals….and every other creature imaginable, up to and including Fairies and Dragons. What a World!