Second Life has a funny way of magnifying certain things. It can magnify your faults into glaring horrid flaws... and it can magnify your charms... your best features in a lovely way that's almost transformative.
I think that's one of the beauties of Second Life really. Real Life interaction is so fraught with face to face anxieties where chances are in SL, your avi looks pretty good and you can be sitting in your pajamas with sleep still in your eyes and halitosis irl and who's gonna know. In rl, a date has so much... static ->... "oh let me fix my hair, did I brush my teeth, what if she/he hates this restaurant"
So what you're left with, if you also leave aside the tendency of some to fake it and try to make themselves "cooler" than they are...is the real deal. The essential you. What you say. What you do. How you say those things. How you do those things. If you have a sense of humor. If you are human. If you have compassion.
And it's easy to fall into like with those things when you meet a person who is.. in a word ... charming. I think it's interesting how... human biology makes us still seek the most physically attractive person. (In a nutshell hormones are involved, for women, we are attracted to those who would make the best hunters, i.e. guys with muscles, brains and testosterone. For men, they are attracted to those who would make the best breeders.. i.e. those with good supplies of estrogen etc. There was a study on this, it was extremely cool.. but I digress. )
But left to ourselves with mind to mind interaction, leaving biology out of it, we are attracted to different things totally. For me, it's often a supportive, loyal, funny, compassionate, intelligent kind of person.
This differential between biology and personality is why so often rl meetings go wrong. At least that's my theory. You can mentally adore someone who does nothing for your hormones. It's a heart breaker.
Again, I digress.
The point is... these friends that you make... in online situations... they go in and out of your life in a way that's so painful.. because sometimes. They just disappear. There's no goodbye. There's no knowing... what happened. They are just gone, leaving a void that... eventually heals over, but you never really completely become reconciled.
And yet, we are such communal creatures. Nobody can live in a void... again there have been studies. We need human interaction, even if it's just online. We need to know we are not alone in the world. We need to make contact.
I know I do. And tonight, I'm feeling so sad about a dear friend, a charming friend, someone I really loved... who has disappeared into the great unknown. Stopped writing emails. Stopped coming online. I know they had health issues... God forbid that they passed away. But I miss them. This person was important to me. And I am just starting to reconcile to the fact they are probably not coming back.
And I'm sad.