Posted by: DBS on Jul 07, 2010
Is Virtual Suicide the right term to use? I pondered reading last week’s newsletter.
When we are born it is into a world that based on the facts taught and my current understanding of the universe, we have no choice in the matter. A few moments of frantic sweaty activity followed by a nine month swim and we are pushed screaming into what we know as the world.
When someone decides to end it by killing themselves it is called suicide (Netherlands in origin is the word from a Latin root).
Can we use the same term when we have of our own free will joined a Virtual World such as Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace or even MyDigitalLife?
Surely we should be saying resigned or retired?
Not to nitpick too much on the term I then turned my mind to consider what is the correct way to exit such a world.
Do you just go? Delete your profile and never go back? We have seen some people do that on this site some I miss some I don’t. If you resign from an organisation there are some general good tips to follow such as just state you are leaving and the effective date and nothing more.
In the job situation this is the best way. Whilst it might be personally pleasing to put in writing that you consider your boss to be the worst a%$#@)*& you ever worked for, you never know if that person will be your boss at some time in the future or worse that you may need to ask them for a reference.
Does the same apply in leaving a virtual world? “Hey you dudes on face book you have (*&&^% me off enough now up yours!!” does not seem to me to be the best approach. True the platform hosting the virtual world just shrugs and processes on bit by bit, but like the real world it is the virtual souls upon it that are likely to be most affected by the reality of your departure.
Having pondered the subject for a week, and never done it I then considered which of the sites I would like to leave. None of them sprang to mind as they had all been carefully selected for different reasons. Not having a site to leave I then turned to what sort of Virtual World Exiter would I be?
Am I a delete and go?
Do I put a polite message up and then delete a week later?
Do I %$#@! And then after a night of remorse when the anger has cooled go back and delete or worse first apologise and then delete?
For me it would probably be the first, after all leaving a note is something people do. We don’t get to leave anything when the grim reaper comes calling.