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OK let's begin with positive side with Second life.
There is a lot good places to go for educational purposes. You can attend to any free classes where residents can attend to learn about a certain program or learn how to build, which seems to be the popular thing to do on second life.
The classes can be very fun at times and often times can be very entertaining. If you have an instructor with a good sense of humor you will often will release a few laughs while learning at the same time.
I personally attended these classes and found them to be awesome. The instructors that I've encountered were very understanding, and has a strong ambition to help their students to excel.
Some sims are built like a science museum. Theirs many photos with notecards attach so the person can read all about what is on the photo.
-Meeting Interesting People, And Interacting With Them-
I understand that some people have a disability, either it be a mental or a physical, and uses second life to help better their overall life. One of the options that you can use on SL is the voice option. It is where you use your mic and use it communicate with others. This can a great help for those who finds it difficult to communicate with people in the real world, or have problems getting out, and being social due to medical reasons.
Because the voice option can be easily abuse certain sims has disabled the voice function. You can still chat with text, just not with voice.
Because of the poor economy a lot of people cannot other wise afford to take a vacation out of the country. Sl is perfect to see new things. It can be a beautiful sight, especially the beaches sim.
Now here's the bad's and what you might want to avoid, so you can prevent from having a negative impact on SL.
I can't say this enough. Having a relationship on SL is one of the worst Idea's ever. It's fine if your husband/wife is your RL spouse, but someone that you don't know RL? Not a good idea. First off many people who's looking for a relationship on SL is already married in RL. Either their spouse don't know about their potential online affair or they simply don't care because their marriage is already broken.
If you find someone who is indeed single RL will probably not be single in the future. It's only matter of time. It's not a good idea to built feelings for that person. As what they say. All good things must come to an end. It may take a good solid year or two, or more to have a good stable relationship with your SL partner, however it can end at anytime, like your SL spouse finding someone in the real world, and decides to marry them, therefor the relationship that took place in SL must come to an end.
That's right. SL is not free, and nor does it offer you virtual money to get stuffs like what you get from other games. You must use your RL money to buy SL clothing, Avatars, weapons, Skins (To look better, and more realistic) and shapes.
SL is essentially an online business.
-Crazy And Sick SL Residents-
I'm amazed just how many sick people are on SL these days. You find people on the most ridiculous sims from bestiality, where people can go to sims with their avatars, and have sex with animals, to Gorean/BDSM sims that promotes pro women abuse and human slavery. Their was a sim once called “Wonderland” where adults wear child avatars, and role play with adults in adult avatars in sexual acts, and physical abuse. The sim is long gone, but it wouldn't surprise me to see that it still goes on today, even as I type this post. Most likley it is active on SL, but under a different name. It's truely sick, and it feeds people's dark side that they hide from the real world. People can have, in buying total complete child avatar, The apperence of children! Why would anyone want to have an apperence of a child on SL unless if they have some ultimatum motives behind it. I can't and wont accept the most common excuse "I never had a childhood so I want to act out".
-Lag And Roleplaying-
SL is one of the worst application to even attempt to do any role playing. It is known quite well for their terrible Lag, especially when the sim is loaded with people. Sometimes it can take a whole min or two to finally rezz on a sim, for some it takes more than that. SL is not good for role playing. Some days you suffer from more lag than you do with lag free days.
It is truly unfortunate for the lag. SL could cure the lag if they weren't so damn cheap to pay for better servers. SL is solely for business, and should be viewed as a business company none of the less. They're their to make money, and paying for better server's means that they have to spend that money to better their systems, and not use the money to buy that fancy mansion that they always dream about.
Uh what else? I can't seem to think of anymore other than that Second life should not be viewed as a gaming source, but a social networking service.
I've been a resident of SL for some time now.