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Far better, regardless of your intent, would have been to take the effort to walk nearby, then stop while standing at a reasonably safe distance and saying a simple “Hello” in local chat.Getting your IM from a distant and unseen location feels a bit like you’re observing me through the virtual equivalent of power-zoom binoculars. Beyond the creepiness factor, when you zoom in on me from a far distance, you have a distinct advantage over me by seeing me without me seeing you.Third, the obnoxiously and hopeless unoriginal content of your message that amounts to nothing but a waste of time for all concerned.
Imagine this happening in real-life: Just pondering it makes my skin crawl.
Because an IM alerts me with a sound designed to get my attention, your unsolicited IM is like you walking up behind me, and poking my shoulder to get it. When you do it from the other side of the sim, it’s like you’re hiding in the bushes, only poking your head up to throw a small pebble at the back of my head in the hopes I’ll respond.
There are solutions to this problem; none of them ideal. Part of the point of being in Second Life while doing something else, however, is enjoying the sounds I hear.
Let’s talk about the difference between IM and local chat for a moment. I don’t IM anyone unless I have something personal, or important, to say or ask them.
While I don’t terribly mind an IM from someone who I don’t yet know, I find it You: “Hey, u want 2 go somewhere private 4 some dancing or fun? Thanks for IMing me out of the blue with an invite for what sounds like an amazing time when I was so bored here doing absolutely nothing! One of the problems with IM (and the internet in general for that matter) is that it gives you a false sense of personal license to say things you’re unlikely to say to someone face to face.