If you’ve been in Second Life for a while, sooner or later someone you know and/or care about will vanish from your virtual life.
They don’t say goodbye, they don’t leave a note, they don’t cancel their rent, they don’t clear their land, they simply never log on again.
There can be many different reasons for someone to just vanish like that, it could be something as innocent as being stuck somewhere during a holiday without internet and losing their rental and deciding they don’t want to return, maybe their computer breaks and they cant afford a new one or maybe they have gotten themselves into some drama in SL and decide that simply staying away is the best solution.
But it could also be something rather serious, they may be very unwell or even have died.
People sometimes don’t realise how much they mean to their virtual friends and community and have no idea how worried the people they leave behind may be.
And besides friends who will miss them dearly, there are also landowners, sims, shop managers, club managers etc, who are waiting for them to renew their rent or don’t know what to do with their stuff, upcoming events, etc.
So, after yet another person in SL simply vanished, I decided to write this blog with some tips, hoping it may avoid a few of these painful and confusing situations.
Please make sure there are is more than one way for people in SL to get in touch with you.
Get a facebook/twitter/other social media account and share your email address with a few of your friends, this can be an avatar only email address of course.
But also, if you can, find someone in SL you trust enough with some RL information.
Even if it is just one friend.
Having someone in SL who knows how to get in touch with you in RL can avoid so many problems.
And the more this one person knows, the better.
If you trust them enough, befriend them with your RL social media accounts or even agree with a close RL family member or friend that this SL friend can email them as well or befriend them on Facebook, just in case of emergency.
If something bad happens to you, your RL friends will probably leave messages on your RL facebook wall, telling you to get better or writing how sad they are you died.
If a SL friend sees this, they know enough.
If this is not the case, your RL friend or family member will still know what is going on.
And finally put all this in a tab in your profile.
Yes it will take up one of your very few Picks (let us have more Linden Lab!), but it could be worth it.
It would be even better if Linden Lab gave us an extra tab in our profile that you could use to fill in this information.
Of course you can also choose to use the ‘1st life’ tab for this, but most people like using that space to tell a little bit about themselves in RL.
Here is the tab in my profile, as an example.
At the moment it only has one name in it, my friend who also is connected with me via my RL Facebook account, who knows my RL email address, has my RL sister’s information, etc, etc.
I’ll add a few more friends, but I want to check with them first if they are ok with it.
If anything serious would happen to me, or something stupid like dropping my computer in the sea while sailing, my sister would know about it.
And once my SL friends got worried and contacted my sister, they’ know what had happened.
And if things were really serious, my sister also knows what I want to happen to my sims if I have died in a freak sword fighting tin opener accident during one of my RL time travel adventures.
Of course it is completely up to you how much you explain about why you can’t be online in SL, sometimes it is nobodies business.
But I think you owe it to your virtual friends and landlords to at least know you’re not dead and if you’re planning on returning.
So folks, please remember that even though you may not realise it or underestimate it, there are people in SL who very likely are desperately trying to figure out why you’ve vanished.
Be a pal, give them a way to find out!