Sio’s post brought to mind the dilemma’s I’ve faced in SL several times. Twice in the space of the last few months I’ve had people I’ve become close to just up and disappear from SL. Unlike Sio I was told they faced a tragedy in RL that they must deal with. All communication was lost. No IMs, G-Talk, or G-Mail. They could have been dead, homeless or in some other dire situation. There’s not much you can do in those cases unless you were close enough to know more of their RL details such as a phone number. In my case both persons recovered from their tragedy to a degree but they failed to contact me with the news.
Honestly I don’t know what’s worse, not knowing and never finding out or finding out they are OK but didn’t feel compelled to let you know they are fine. I’d never begrudge anyone taking time to attend to RL. I’d even understand if you had to take a break from SL or *gasp* were done with me. What I hate is being in the dark and not knowing if you are in trouble and hurting. But dammit, if you’re well enough to use a computer you owe it to your friends and loved ones to let them know you’re OK. I am a real person with real feelings, NOT an NPC or bot. One simple message is all it takes and you owe me no more than that.
I would hope my readers out there keep this in mind if the worst happens some day. Your friends here in the virtual world do matter and we do care about you. Talk to us, let us know you’re OK. It’s the least you can do.