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Friday, February 20, 2015

Stressed? Take A Break!

It's awfully easy to get totally wrapped up in Second Life.  For example, I manage my rentals at Masocado, teach classes at Caledon Oxbridge University, and have to make sure the Oxbridge tutorials and handouts are correct and up to date.  And that's before even thinking about shopping, visiting my friends, and spending time with my partner.  Not to mention inventory sorting and a number of partly-completed building projects.

Lots of residents are even busier than I am.  They may manage tens or even hundreds of rental regions, run a club, fulfill DJ gigs, plan weddings, or try to come up with the latest SL fashion trend.  Merchants in particular can get stressed, especially if their brand is in demand.  The customers always want something new, and they want it NOW.

And then there is emotional stress and upheaval.  Perhaps we have a new love interest...or maybe we've just broken up with the old one.  Perhaps your content has been copybotted, or you fell for a phishing scam and your account is in jeopardy.  Maybe you have a stalker or a griefer problem.

Second Life is supposed to be a break from the stresses of Real Life.  How did we let it become yet another source of stress?  Just human nature, I guess.  We get involved in the things we love!

But unlike Real Life, where the only exit is a one-way door, you CAN step away from Second Life for a while, when the stress gets to be too much.  In fact, I recommend it!  At least once a year, log out and DON'T LOG IN again for at least two weeks.  Take some time to do more RL things, reconnect with your family and friends.  Go dig in the garden, read books, try a new recipe, go for long walks.

Lots of people do it wrong.  They get fed up and tell everyone they're "leaving SL for good!"  They may even cancel their account.  Then, a few days or weeks or months later, the pull of the virtual world becomes too much to resist and we see them back again.  Those who deleted their accounts are in sad case...they have to pay a $9.95 fee to get the old account reinstated, and they might not get all their old inventory or $L balance back.  But all of these returnees feel a sense of failure and a blow to their self-image, because they didn't do what they said they were going to do.

Don't fall into that trap.  Second Life is like the Hotel California -- "you can check out, but you can never leave."  Don't delete your account in a moment of stress or anger.  Just log off...and take a break for a few days, or a few weeks.  Your account and your friends will still be waiting for you when you get back.

If you are a Premium member and are contemplating a long break, I recommend selling your land and downgrading to Basic.  If your payment method fails for any reason, Linden Lab may delete your account.  But a free Basic account will never be deleted. 

Leading two lives can double your stress and ruin your sleep.  When you need it, take a break!

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