At its core, Second Life (and the metaverse at large) is all about social experiences. Yes, there are games to enjoy and crazy places to explore. But it’s all so much more fun when you’re enjoying it with other people.
Why Make Friends in Second Life?
We hear this often: why make friends online (or in a virtual world) when you can just hang out with people in real life? There are plenty of legitimate reasons. Maybe there aren’t many people around you with similar interests. Maybe a disability prevents you from getting out much – but not from using a computer. Or, maybe you just want to expand your social circle.
And, of course, it’s not always easy to meet others locally. People just don’t seem to be as social and open to meeting strangers as they used to. There’s actually science to back this up, and it’s a trend that started long before the Internet.
Regardless, there are plenty of reasons to find new friends in the metaverse. And Second Life makes it easy! Here’s a quick guide.
People are Intentional in Second Life: Use That to Make Friends
There are plenty of things that we do in our daily lives out of obligation rather than desire, such as working and grocery shopping. Just because someone is browsing in a grocery store doesn’t mean that they want to talk about it.
However, Second Life users visit locations and engage in experiences because they want to. This makes people more approachable. There’s a pretty good chance that they’re more open to discussing the experience than they would be to starting a conversation at the grocery store. This is especially true if you’re enjoying the experience with them.
Approaching people in Second Life is less awkward than in the real world, so just start by asking someone about their experience. If they’re typing, you have the advantage of reading their response thoughtfully and carefully consider your response.
This means you can read between the lines and carefully consider better questions that dig deeper into their interests. If you can get someone to talk about themselves and what they enjoy, you’re well on your way to making new friends in Second Life.
Of course, one of the advantages to meeting people in Second Life is specifically finding people who share your interests. Second Life also makes that easier.
Attend Social Events in Second Life
Second Life is full of social events! You can pretty much find them on the hour every hour, day or night. Games, live music, dance parties, church services, classes, and discussions are hosted regularly. You can also find scavenger hunts that allow users to explore unique areas, get free stuff, and meet new people.
Many events recur weekly at the same time and location. You can use Second Life’s event listing to easily find an event that interests you.
Find Friends with Mutual Interests in Second Life Groups
Groups are another important aspect of Second Life’s social scene. There are tons of them, and they can get surprisingly niche as far as interests are concerned. Even better, once you join a group, you’re free to jump right into the discussion at any time.
Use this to your advantage. If someone says something in a group that grabs your attention, let them know! Start a conversation by asking them for more details and relating their experience to your own. Encourage others to offer their input as well. Pretty soon, they’ll be inviting you to their favorite virtual getaway for deeper conversations.
The Universal Rule for Making Friends in Second Life (and Beyond)
There’s one secret to making new friends in any context that Dale Carnegie so famously revealed to the world: get people talking about themselves. People may not want to admit it, but they would much rather tell you about themselves than hear you talk about yourself.
It’s actually easier to begin conversations this way in Second Life. As we said, the real world imposes restrictions that are beyond our control. Maybe someone is wearing an outfit because it’s affordable, not because it’s truly their style. The same could be said about their car, home, hobbies, and so on.
In Second Life, everything they have and do is exclusively a reflection of who they are and what they enjoy. It all carries some meaning to them. So, ask about it! And remember to compliment them along the way.
Drawing New Friends to You
We’ve discussed finding friends in Second Life based on what others are doing, but you can certainly take a proactive approach in drawing them to you. It’s easy to do and doesn’t take much skill.
Setting up a Place to Gather
Ideally, you’ll need a place where people can gather around a shared interest. You may have heard how expensive virtual land is these days, but Second Life is an exception; it has some of the cheapest land in the metaverse. Its mainland parcels are affordable on pretty much any budget.
Once you have a parcel, you’ll also need a building. Good designs are key, but you don’t have to design it yourself. The Second Life marketplace is full of prefab offices, coffee shops, and concert venues. Some of them are free! Just grab one, customize it to fit your style, and fill it with some furniture and decor.
Drawing Crowds With Events
We mentioned earlier that events draw people in. This is a great way to attract users to your area after getting your venue set up. There are many types of events in Second Life, and you’ll probably find that some are easier to host than others. Regardless, they almost always draw a crowd of people who come ready to meet new people.
Here are a few lucrative events to try:
- Host a discussion
- Teach a lesson
- Have a trivia night (least amount of work involved)
- Stream a live event
- Start a book club
It’s also very easy to draw a crowd with music. If you’re a musician, that’s great! Live performances almost always draw people, even when there are a dozen or so others at the same time. If you’re not a musician, consider billing yourself as a DJ and play songs while interacting with the crowd and taking requests.
And don’t worry; you don’t have to be a great DJ to pull this off. I’ve honestly heard DJs who sounded like office Karens on their lunch break – and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Just be yourself, talk to the crowd, and play a few songs. That’s it! You’re hiding behind a digital avatar, so there’s no reason to feel nervous.
Hosting events like these will both help you meet new people and gain prominence in Second Life. Try a few, see which ones work best, then schedule a few different types of events throughout the week. Trust me, it’s easier than it sounds.
Starting a Social Group in Second Life
There are hundreds (if not thousands) of groups in Second Life. As we said, they’re a great way to meet new people with similar interests. But if you still can’t find one that matches yours, feel free to start a new one.
Actually, if you set up a venue in Second Life, it’s a great idea to build a group around it. Many stores, clubs, and concert halls have built and maintained a following by connecting groups with their venues. As the leader of that group, members will naturally gravitate towards you. You can actually build your own community with little effort.
If you consider yourself socially awkward, remember: it’s all in a virtual world. No knows who you really are, what you look like, where you’re from, or any other pertinent detail. Put the pressure on your avatar rather than yourself. Believe me, it makes things a lot easier.
Second Life: The Easiest Way to Make New Friends
It really doesn’t get any easier to meet new people and forge friendships than in Second Life. Whether you set out to meet others or draw them to you, your social circle will start to grow in no time! Once you’ve given it a try, tell us about your experience in the comments below.