Which Came First?
The culture of the Second Life™ blogosphere presents an interesting casuality dilemma – which came first, the Drama or the Drama Mongers (also known as Drama Queens/Kings or Drama Whores)? Each exists in a relationship of circular cause and consequence. Drama can not come into its harmful fruition without the nurturing of Drama Mongers; Drama Mongers can not reach their full destructive potential without the existence of Drama. One exists for/because of the other. Oh, the philosophy of it all.
Once the symbiotic cycle involving Drama and its Monger has been initiated, it requires fuel to continue to survive – not unlike a fire. Opinion-based feedback from involved and uninvolved parties provides a hearty meal or the animal, causing it to grow and spiral out of control, oftentimes to the point where the original Drama Monger can no longer contain the fallout and then runs away crying to re-enact their well-rehearsed victim routine while lamenting on why this type of thing follows them. The resulting frenzy provides a warm atmosphere of fulfillment for the Mongers.
If you’re outside of the drama loop keep informed. Familiarize yourself with the signs of Drama build-up so you can steer clear and avoid being singed by the radiant energy.
Only you can prevent forest fires.
Giveaway signs of a Drama Monger:
- Their in-world profile. This will, in some way, mention drama as penned in their own words. It’s so cliché, but it’s true. For those who are not regularly or often involved in the cycle, giving acknowledgment to Drama is not even a consideration, but for active players, it’s ever at the forefront of their thoughts. Paranoid much? Whether it says how much they dislike it or describes how they’re going to react when confronted by it (usually, how their posse is going to kick yer a$$), it’s all the same. They’re in it. Thick.
- Attention whoring. He or she will make a concerted effort to put him or herself smack-dab in the middle of the action, regardless of whether the resulting attention is positive or negative, oftentimes making the issue about them even if it isn’t. If the Drama has begin clandestinely, the Drama Monger will instinctually “out” themselves as guilty parties by being (one of the) first to take offense.
- Public cattiness paired with stupidity. When it somes to spewing some form of ego-stroking bullshit at someone else’s expense the Monger needs an audience. After all, what is Drama without its appreciators? Typical examples include talking shit about someone within their proximity in public voice chat, non-private Plurks or Twitters that are critical of others and what they’re doing (even private Plurks/Twitters that are viewable by the subject’s friends and acquaintances).
- TMI! Receiving intimate detail overload should set off red flags for anyone who gets to know someone’s entire life story (which may include all the lover’s they’ve had and any related experiences in detail, any abuses suffered throughout life, how many people they’ve fought with and/or beat up, any medications they are on, etc.) after the first 10-30 minutes of meeting after having simply asked, “So, what do you do in SL?”.
Common forms of Drama:
- Drama disguised as public relations. The public deserves to be informed, yes, but giving too much information can prove to be damaging. Posting information on a store blog that the general public does not need to know is a common offender in this area.
- “XYZ designer ripped my or someone else’s products”. If they’re not your products, inform the original designer, leave it in their hands and respect their wishes. If you are the original designer, file a DMCA without telling the world. Incidentally, by not being discrete you’re: (A) giving the guilty parties opportunity to delete content and cover their tracks, and (B) opening yourself up to losing a portion of your customer base when their esteem for you and your brand dwindles as they observe your words or actions in the ensuing melee. When it’s all over, tell us about it (or not), and when doing so, please just state the facts as he-said-she-said will just degenerate into petty exchanges. Opinions tend to be easier to argue against than fact.
- “XYZ designer has just pulled out of our fashion showcase because [describe the drama in excruciating detail]“. We don’t need to know. This type of masked drama serves only to embarrass the designer. If disseminating information about this is appropriate at all, simply post a statement that says XYZ designer will not be participating further, thank them for their involvement thus far, and apologize to those who were looking forward to seeing their involvement in your show. And for goddsakes disable commenting.Here’s a simple way to avoid that to all the store managers and so-called public relations specialists who keep stirring the pot: take some time to find out what public relations actually is. Google it and take advantage of the free learnin’ resources online. Adapt the principles to the SL climate.
- I SLove U 4Eva Drama. Yes, many people search for companionship in Second Life, whether they want that to spill into real life or not. But to fall in and out of the I’d-lie-for-you-die-for-you-give-up-all-my-worldly-possessions-for-you type love every month with a different person? Getting involved with someone who leaves behind a long trail of jilted ex-SLovers – especially ones who were partnered to another during the romance, is inviting Drama into your life. You end up defending yourself and your SLove (though, they probably don’t deserve your loyalty) against an army of angry exes and their friends who’ve been dragged into the matter by proxy.
- Blog comment Drama. Some blogs attract more backbiting and heresy in commenting than others. Everyone wants to get their 2¢ in. The most insidious of all commenters is Anonymous (or some similar nondescript moniker). Good ‘ol Anon will freely spread uninformed and unfounded opinion with a button click without having to own up to the words, then sit back and revel as pandemonium breaks out. Blog owners that have opened up their posts to public and non-anonymous commenting can’t predetermine what people will write, though they can moderate and ban as needed. We don’t always have to agree, but we don’t always have to disagree vehemently.
Whether intentional or unintentional, we have all been involved in drama in SL at some time or other – myself included.
Sometimes you can’t avoid being drawn into Drama, especially if it is directed at you. The best course of action is to carefully consider and compose what you’re going to say (without direct attacks or insults), say your piece, then ignore the agitator and don’t respond to their aggression. The best course of action is to take the high road.