Having a ‘stalker’ in a virtual world as Second Life is, is actually quite laughable. I mean, seriously…what can they do – other than slightly amuse or in worst case annoy you? They cannot steal your money, boil your bunny or physically harm you.
Alas, ‘omgwtfbbq I am being stalked’ is a hot topic for years on fora and on the feeds for months and it keeps many residents busy.
Oh yes, I have had my own personal lil stalker too! I guess it comes with living in SL, having a blog, being active in some communities and all. So, what did I do about it?
Before I continue, please keep in mind my particular stalker is not yours. Meaning, there are always different kind of stalkers, and mine was a ..well, lame one. A ‘bad’ one that probably wouldn’t get high up in the overall ranks of ‘Stalkers United’. Or whatever. It was merely a laughable one, pathetic, and mildly entertaining, not too bright or smart in their ‘stalking skills’ but ….it was there, for months and I noticed, hence that part was succesfull.
Anyways, suppose you have to deal with the ‘not-so-bright-but-craving-for-attention- pathetic-stalker’ like I had. This is what I did and NOT did to make it stop.
1) Ignore them on the web. Mentally that is. Pretend they do no exist. If in a forum or on a feed thread and they appear, go around them, do not comment or reply to them.
Note: no I did not mute/block my personal little stalker, they could/can see and read everything I did and do in SL/forum/feed, I have nothing to hide. There is hardly privacy in SL. Muting/blocking them would mean I noticed them and giving them a) attention and b) another reason to whine, complain and gossip. So, nope, no muting, no banning and no blocking from my part.
2) Ignore them Inworld. Not by muting/blocking/banning, but just, as in nr 1, mentally: pretend they do not exist. It takes some discipline and willpower, but you can do it!
Best thing is: close your home/parcel with the relatively new option so ppl cannot cam in your parcel from the outside, instead of actually banning the person.
Note: this can be hard when the stalker is loitering around your private home inworld. Been there, done that, and no…it’s no fun to be chatting with a friend or just lounging in your own home and seeing your personal lil stalker hanging around your parcel, sitting on the neighbours deckchairs…. But: let them waste their own time by sitting close to your home when there is nothing to be seen for them! Not your problem!
3) Whenever someone asks about it, in need for a possible gossip or just out of general interest: do not confirm or deny anything, as long as you are unsure of the origin of the person that asks.
The moment you got yourself a stalker, you will also find people asking you about it. Strangers. Ignore the topic of stalking, be polite and be vague. Strangers asking you about your stalker or trying to get you to talk about ‘stories’ that are told about you are usually..well, alts or friends of the stalker – in need for recognition. Don’t give them that.
4) Relax! Keep doing your thing and have fun! Yes , you can and yes again: pretend the stalker does not exist. As long as you do that, the stalker will see and experience it is failing. A stalker, just like an average griefer, needs attention. By not giving it..it will die. Either from boredom or from shame. Oh, they may do some extra effort with some more gossip and weird stories, but in the end..they will not ‘win the internet’ but probably lose their credibility. And if nothing else, they are just…a nobody of no importance.
I hope my tips are helpful and NO I will not name my personal stalker, so please do not bother to ask :). I think I managed to keep mine away, using my own 4 tips and hope it helps others in the same position!
No, by no means did I handle the whole situation – which lasted for over 8-9 months – perfect at all times. I made mistakes, I lashed out a few times, but hey I am only human and there is only so much self control (of lack thereof) when I am tired or just in a bad mood. I managed to ‘correct’ those little mistakes by continuing following my own 4 tips.
Also, we did some minor concessions to our SL. We chat in IM voicecalls, when at home, never in open chat and when we want some ‘privacy’ as far as that exists in SL, we go to our skyhome which is located on a different parcel than our home and even on a different continent.
I admit I have, sadly, lost a few people I considered friends or at least friendly acquantainces, due to the persistent stream of lies and gossip spread about me by my lil stalker. That was a not so nice surprise, but I got over it and made new friends, I guess it is how it goes. It also made me less open to strangers, I am still cautious when meeting new people and sometimes I am maybe even too suspicious, that is a shame, but it’s getting less :). By no means did my stalker succeed: driving me nuts. For one, I was already crazy and two, I did not allow them to ruin my SL, because that is what it is : MY second life. And it is not about them!
And last but not least, if stalking does get serious and it spills over to real life and includes threats regarding your real life in any kind: go to your local police, file reports/tickets and everything to Linden Lab and yeah in these cases: mute/block them. Luckily those types of stalking are rare and it usually doesn’t come this far.