I'm going to try and make this as non-ranty as possible, but I'm just at the done level.
This is something that doesn't often happen to me, even when i was new and wandering the 'newbie' places did it only happen once: people making me uncomfortable. Now, I'm generally polite unless you really piss me off, and that is a hard thing to do. I have a high tolerance level, really, but certain things just have me be just...done. People rarely pay me any mind, and I like that, that's what makes it not so awkward for me to go exploring sims...but then there are the times people notice me. Back in October, I was taking some pics Halloween related and some guy ended up showing up on the sim I was on, no where near me and we were the only two there. He ended up IMing me. It went downhill fast, and I had tried being nice and polite at first until it went downhill and I just shut up.
Might I mention random people IMing me has me be a bit wary, too, because I am just a careful person. I have had a few nice random IMs always just a short thing, most recently someone on a RP sim I was on making a comment how my char's look gave off a Margaery from Game of Thrones vibe, but others not. And the not is what has me be done. Twice within a short span of time has the not happened. Most recently tonight. I was innocently wandering around a very pretty beach sim, Baja Norte, and I passed by people since it was rather busy while looking for a place to take a pic. Some guy IMed me, and I didn't feel like answering atm, so I kept walking. I paused at a place, guy clicked to sit on something near me, sent a friend request while I was continuing on my way, I stopped someplace else, guy followed up. So instead of being a complete bitch, I replied with a hello and a 'I'm good' when asked how I was. He asked what country I'm from, and I knew where this was going, but I gave a short answer, period and all hoping he'd get the point. He only went on to ask my age. So, politely mind you, saying goodbye and telling him in as nice a way as possible that I wasn't going to share my age with a god damn stranger who was following me, I wandered off. Maybe telling him I was looking to take pics had him leave me be? Don't know. But, see, all of that is not what made me be done with all things, it's what came after: 'ok' pause 'baby'.
No. Just no. I was tempted to tell him to not call me that in a not so nice way, but instead I just Xed out the chat box and continued on my way. Didn't feel like dealing with it.
Now, maybe I wouldn't be so over this stuff if it wasn't for the fact some guy not too long ago IMed me, and his IM had me check my groups and if he was onsim cause I felt that uncomfortable, basically soliciting me for sex and suggesting I was in a group made for that, which I sure as hell am not. And I don't want to look through my laptop for it, but I'm pretty 'sinister smile' was in his IM. I just straight up ignored that, and he didn't carry on thankfully. The only thing that had me not feel but so uncomfortable, was that I immediately told a friend what just happened. Telling someone I trust made me feel a bit better and like I could hide behind him for a shield if need be...though I know it doesn't quite work like that in SL, the feeling was still there.
But basically what all this means is that I now have a personalized autoresponse. I have had my autoresponse on sometimes when I'm not exactly at my keyboard, and then I forget to turn it off, but I've never changed it from the default. I always see my IMs, no matter what I'm doing, I see that blinking orange bubble. Might not respond straightaway, but I see it...unless I fell asleep or am actually afk doing something. Basically, yea, it's preemptively saying to people who might want more than just being nice, that I'm going to ignore you. Yep. Thankfully, it's so rare that someone not my friend IMs me, that I don't really have to worry about it, but I prefer something of protection from idiots. I don't like having on an autoresponse, because I am an open person, as told by this blog probably, but I feel a need to sadly.
There are a ton of nice people in SL, but then there are those who need to be told where to shove it. I just don't feel like wasting energy telling them where that is. I'm an open person, but I don't like people asking me things that are a bit too much when I don't know who you are, I don't know what you want, etc. I also don't like people asking me if I want to cyber them, even if with only text. And I have two reasons for that A) random person, not doing you, even if only virtually and B) if I'm going to do anything the like, there's only one person I'm comfortable enough to do anything even close to the like with, and that's even only done when it's fitting to a scene and such, not 'just because'. Yea, my comfort level has to be pretty high for any intimate typing of any sort, erotic scenes aside even. Okay, so maybe that's technically three reasons, but still.
Unfortunately with SL being rather anonymous, unless you choose for it to not be, people can be more forward or awkward or creepy or whatever you want to call it. Of course there are those sorts in RL, but it's harder to come across, at least in my experience. And, too, this all kind of reminds me, yet again, of another post I had read a bit back; if you're curious, click here.
Now, thankfully, I've not had anything like that happen (thank you security orb and the fact I don't think any ballooners are around *double checks*) but the fact that I can relate to a few points. With the recent...interaction...I felt like tping off the sim, even though I had as much right to be there are this random guy. Even with the guy who IMed me and only mentioned a similar group (which far as I can tell was only an art group that we shared in common) I felt a need to check radar and be sure he was no where near; if he was near, I may have felt like fleeing...except again I would've let that thought go because I had a friend there. And then as well with my own being polite, when, if it was a friend of mine and I had the ability, I would've told the person to go away in a very unnice way. I was even polite to the one that I flat out ignored, since it was ignore or tell him to go jerk off to something else, again in a very unnice way. If any of the people had been explicitly rude, I would've gone off more than likely, but they weren't...not exactly at least.
As the post I linked points out, even, girls are kind of taught to be nice and polite in all situations. I hate how I actually realize I fall into that category, but only when it comes to myself. I'm more prepared to step up for someone else than I am for myself, if it's myself I'll just take it unless someone is just outright rude and nasty. Women are taught, not directly so, to be this way more often than not because of social norms. And social norms suck because they are hard to break from once you've been trained to it. It's not on purpose, of course not, but it does happen. We're conditioned in such a way that we think we 'have' to be the polite person, and turn someone down nicely, even if we want to push them off a cliff. Enough women are not in the lines of this norm, but they tend to be considered 'different' and 'odd' as unfortunate as it is. And I only use different and odd as nice euphemisms for what someone would call a woman who might not be so nice to someone who is giving unwanted attention.
This norm translates into both lives, which is almost worse in SL, because, short of muting someone, you can't exactly get away from them talking to you. And that leads to more of a feeling of uncomfortableness or vulnerability or whatever depending on the situation. It's not an easy thing, for me, to admit, but it's true. I just hope that it'll change a bit as time goes on, and that people will stop looking past subtle 'go away' signals.