So yesterday was my birthday. I’m mentioning that because my email inbox is always very interesting on that day. I got all the usual Happy Birthday emails, cheesy animated gift cards, Facebook notifications and the annual birthday spam from all the various online forums and communities I have joined over the years.
I’ve had an online life for quite some time now. Before I was married with children I was involved in some political activist communities, and then after my first born I was all about the Mommy forums and online chat groups because I was a bumbling new mother who didn’t know what the hell to do with her baby. Going through my emails yesterday was like a quick history of my online activity over the years. It was kind of cool, but what really struck me is that it seems that my online engagement seems to have a lifespan of about three years. With each of those places I was heavily involved in, around the three year mark, I eventually started to step back and quietly faded away before finding other interests to keep me busy. I’ve kept a few friends and contacts from each of those communities along the way.
I have been thinking about Second Life and this blog. I have not felt at all inspired to explore or blog anything SL related. I still log in, mainly to visit with a couple of friends but my engagement in the virtual world has been getting less and less. At this point, SL feels to me like just another social media platform where I keep in touch with friends, as opposed to the immersive parallel reality that I once escaped to. There are still cool things going on and people continue to do and create amazing things. Second Life has not changed in that regard, but my life is different now and I have changed. It’s time for me to move on.
Second Life did a lot for me. It helped me find my creative spirit, experiment with it and try out some new things. The walled garden of the virtual world was a safe place for me to do that. There was a time when the thing I loved most about SL was the endless possibilities it had to offer. I never thought I would ever feel limited in that world, but that’s exactly how I feel today. I’m not an artist and I’m not creating anything really profound in the world. I’m just a person who enjoys taking pictures of the world around me and expressing how I relate to it and how it makes me feel.
In pursuing my new found passion for photography, I have discovered that the “escape” I once craved so much and was searching for in the past 3.5 years in Second Life, is just as easily attainable when I go down to Lake Ontario every weekend to capture the sunrise with my iPhone camera, or when I’m exploring the beauty of the world around me. One day I will get myself one of them “real cameras”.
All this is to say that I will not be updating this blog anymore. I still plan on participating in Single Frame Stories and maybe some other events in-world. Any images I create in SL will be posted to my Flickr feed or perhaps my other blog. I invite you to follow me on my RL blog, if you like. I have no guarantees of where that blog will lead me, but it would be great to have some company from familiar faces along the way.
Cheers, it’s been a blast.