Why, hello! :)
I'm Blissie Boucher..a four-year veteran of Second Life.
Close your mouth - yes, people DO make it to four years without having some kind of nervous breakdown (personally, I think the key is to take a break every now and then - but that's a whole other post).
See, my favorite part of Second Life is (and always has been) my friends. I am, after all, married to my best friend. :) But there are some things that I think new people in Second Life need to know (ya know..be told versus learn).
You see, just because it's a cartoon world, doesn't mean everyone within SL is playing a part. Some people are simply just..themselves - only in cartoon form. Having fun..telling jokes..enjoying music and exploring new and exciting places. Lots of people in SL even do the unthinkable..and wear their heart on their sleeve.
And just because it's virtual, doesn't mean that emotions are any less real to some folks.
So here's the thing: when you make a friend in Second Life, treat them the same way as you would like to be treated. Be kind, be generous, be caring and being genuine. And if you cannot be any or all of the above to someone, then leave people alone.
The rules of friendship are the same - in any world.