Wednesday, March 12, 2008

To n00b or not to n00b

Believe it or not, I'm trying to cut back on the caffeine I am constantly hooked up to for a bit. This is partly because my sleeping patterns are so off lately, I figured I needed to do something to help myself out. But mostly I do this from time to time because when I get back on it, it's just so darn good.

Unfortunately, cutting back leaves me moody and with a headache for a few days. The moody started last night. The headache caught up tonight. So I apologize for any big smack talking I do for the next few days, starting with this post.

I get a kick out of helping newbies most of the time. I'm very lucky that my best SL girl friend is the same way. Cen and I have spent hours searching out the best freebies for newbies, and places they can go, and we have spent a lot - a LOT - of time sitting and patiently trying to explain things to new people. We don't do it to be praised, we do it because we like to help and because we know that helping someone can often lead to making a new friend.

But it's getting to the point [for me anyway - I can't speak for Cen] that I just want to say to some of them, "You're a lost cause. Go on, lil n00b, and find your own way." This mostly comes from new people who have absolutely NO taste, in fashion or in how they conduct themselves. Fashion can usually be easily remedied and isn't a huge deal. Being tasteless in how you act and speak is something completely different.

I keep telling myself to not be a snob. That people are different, and people use SL for different things. It's not just about helping and building and shopping and chatting for everyone. It IS about hooking up with someone they meet in a club for some people. But when I stand there and I'm patiently trying to explain, for the 50th time, how to put on a new skin and all they want to know is how to make their boobs bigger so they can catch the eye of some guy...I just can't help myself. The snob comes out and I just want to walk off.

I guess the question is: How much help is too much help? When someone seems appreciative and cool and listens to me, I really do have fun. And they have fun. Maybe we don't always keep in contact outside of an IM here and there, but I get a thrill knowing that I helped someone become a productive member of the SL society [SLociety?] Is it ok to tell someone that you've had enough and now it's time for them to learn on their own? Is it ok when you've come to realize that you honestly have no interest in pursuing any kind of friendship with someone, even at just a basic level, that you just stop helping? How do you tell someone you're done without being rude about it?

I don't know. I think I am just moody right now. I don't ever want to stop helping new people. In fact, Cen and I went off tonight to go seek out a newbie to help [we didn't find any. No one at Noob Island was new!] I guess I just don't ever want it to get to the point of me NOT wanting to help out because a few tacky people ruined it.


M said...

I run into this a lot while Mentoring. As much fun as it can be to find that eager newbie that really wants to learn and make the best of their time in SL, most of the people you end up helping will not really want the help other than being given freebies, being told where they can go to meet people, how to make themselves look "hot", etc.

How I handle it is to have a few "newbie" folders I can drop on someone that contain a full avatar, landmarks to current freebie places, and maybe a few extra goodies as well. I also made up a notecard that answers some of the FAQ's I get. If I am helping someone with a question, I'll try to give them a simple, direct answer, and close it off by letting them know they can contact me if they have other questions. If the opportunity presents itself, I'll also drop one of the "newbie" folders on them.

At the very least I try to explain the concept of their inventory to them. Beyond that, I try to limit the amount of "free" help that I give; by free meaning help I go out of my way to give, as opposed to help that is sought after. It helps me as well, to keep my directions clear and concise.

It's frustrating, because you do get those people that just want to get in SL, look hot off the bat, and go off to find a hookup. But occasionally you find that newbie that could really use a push in the right direction and will appreciate you for it.

Think of it like panning for gold - you have to sift through the dirt to find the good stuff. And it's a lot easier to just give the dirt a swirl around and then toss it out of the pan than it is to keep opring it over, grain by grain.

Good luck, and drop me an IM in-world if you have other questions, want help, or just have good freebie stuff to share. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm so torn about this as well.

Maybe I take it too far beyond the free items and LM's, but I really do enjoy talking them through certain basics and even hearing their delight the first time they jump on a dance ball or see a really cool place. It reminds me all over again how fun some of the things we take for granted really are.

My problem becomes what happens when I genuinely no longer enjoy the company of the person I helped? For some reason I end up feeling somewhat responsible or obligated to interact with them. (I've never deleted or muted anyone ever so you can imagine my situation)

I would hate to stop being as open and friendly as I am, because I do enjoy it and as Meara said there are some gold nuggets out there.


Anonymous said...

OK I lied, I did delete this one guy ...

Anonymous said...

I've been helping out someone who seems very sweet, and suddenly the other night I noticed she had added one Pick to her profile. A BDSM club. I'm a little perturbed by this, but I'm all for people doing what they want, so long as no one gets hurt (without wanting to). Still haven't brought it up, and probably won't.

Alicia Chenaux said...

Meara - I like your idea of limiting the amount of "Free" help. I admit that I have a bad habit of trying to help more than I should even when the person obviously isn't interested in learning more than how to make their butt bigger so they can go to the Big Booty Hookup Club. I think I need to learn how to limit myself. :)

Cen - Well, I think you and I are also in the strange position of helping people who hang out in the spots we do, so we can't NOT see them. We need to learn how to shut the door on free help and wait until they ask. And not be so nice, although I know that's more your problem than mine. LOL

Nikita - It is strange when someone you've helped suddenly takes a strange twist. Cen & I helped a girl once who was so excited and happy about being in SL and exploring it, and the next week she was a slutty slave. LOL But there's always the chance that your newbie was tagged when she was just out exploring, and hasn't quite learned that she can leave groups. Or she's just kinky. ;-)

Anonymous said...

And this is the reason I have an alt. So that the nice people who befriended me when I was but a wee n00b don't find out that I'm interested in things that they aren't interested in.

I think it's rather pathetically funny that I bring my inhibitions over into SL. Being an avatar is not enough for me to relax. I need an anonymous alt without payment info on file to talk to a stranger in black leather.