Second Life and Plurk had its period this week. The grid was all wonky for days on end, and meanwhile everyone was busy making posts on Plurk about how much they hated each other. As the weekend rolls around, and we’re still screaming and throwing tampons across the room, let’s reflect on the overarching theme of most of our disagreements: people who have gained some sort of notoriety on the grid, who open their mouth to express an opinion and cause an earthquake and slaughter millions in doing so.
It can be kind of hard to separate the person who designs what you buy, from the object you are buying. In some cases, they might do something so irritating, you can refuse to shop at their store again. Other times, you’re just like, “Dude, I like your stuff, but you’re kind of an ass.” It’s your business what you do, and you’re free to pick either path as a solution to your personal outrage.
But sometimes, it’s not the designer, but you who needs to chill out. How do you figure where to draw the line–hate the designer, or the designer and the product? Or neither? Or just go walk away from the computer and smoke a cig to calm down? Have a beer? Wtf idk?
So here are some thoughts on what SL designers are never going to be, like, ever:
1. They aren’t a doctor.
Even if they are employed in the medical field away from the grid, they can’t just dole out information online and it takes the place of you going to see a physician for medical advice. Never take some internet person’s opinions on anything health-related as something written in stone. If you have a health-related issue, go see a doctor irl. And stop worrying about what some “SL-famous” person’s influence on others would be, just because they believe in home remedies or Chinese medicine or whatever else. Anyone who would accept that as their life-saving advice and never see a doctor for what’s wrong with them, is a very stupid person.
2. They don’t always have the same views as you.
Once, back when we were all deciding between Obama and Romney for president, a hair designer I really like spoke up on her plurk timeline on behalf of Romney. At first I was like, “Omg how dare she!”. Then I realized she was a human being and she could vote for whoever she wanted. No hairs from her store were thrown away that day, and I didn’t ruin my evening being outraged at her lack of liking the same politician I did.
3. They are not excusable in their actions, just because they’re talented.
Anyone who tells you they’re an asshole just because they can make things really well, or acts as if this fact is true, is full of shit and needs to learn some manners. Full stop. Everyone should be treated with respect, and if a designer can’t learn this, they’ll learn by the amount of customers they’ll end up losing over time.
4. They don’t have endless patience, either.
No one is, honestly. Me, personally, if I tell someone something over and over and they don’t get it, I become very sarcastic. Manners are important, but everyone’s got their bad days. And if you badger someone or keep irking them on a point, don’t expect them to keep smiling at you and treating you nicely. Eventually, they’ll tell you to shove off.
5. They don’t need you to be their zombie.
Don’t kiss up to designers. Yeah, I said it. Nobody needs that. It’s cool to like someone for something they make, but really–you know those armies of people who support someone who’s a jackass, because they think if they do, they’ll get free stuff? Don’t be that person, okay? It makes you look pathetic.
We’re all adults, and it’s generally true that we were all taught to think with our own minds. Not everyone is perfect, so when you have a disagreement with someone who just happens to own a store in SL, take a step back and look at the situation objectively.
And try not to think of what they do for a living in-grid at all. If Second Life were to pull to the plug tomorrow, none of it would mean anything.