IMVU Science: Everyone else is having more fun…?
In psychology, the science of attribution theory and self-serving bias discusses how we fill in the blanks when we don’t know something. Typically, it is based on the idea that while we see everything about our own lives, we only catch little glimpses of the lives of those around us. Therefore our imagination fills in the blanks, often incorrectly.That is especially true in imvu.
On imvu, you can really see a lot (what Kait calls imvu vision), really see the heart and soul of someone, in some ways, even better than in real life where your view of someone’s heart is often distorted by pesky laws of reality and physics and biology. But at the same time, on imvu you also see so little. Just words on a screen. Here, people can be in multiple places at once. Be distracted by the real world, or other webpages on the computer.
Something that often happens in a chat, the door rings, the water on the stove boils over, something funny happens on TV, you disappear to deal with it, all I see is quiet, like I’m being ignored. Unlike rl where we usually have some context even on the phone (hearing a doorbell, hearing you laugh), on imvu we can’t see all the circumstnaces that made you disappear, and we jump to the worse conclusions… “he doesn’t care.” Giving context is important, if only a simple “brb”
It also applies more broadly. Unlike the real world, where everyone at least sort knows each other’s friends, like on facebook where you see everyone’s friends, on imvu its different. I’ve discovered that even people you are closest to, and have known for months, probably have good friends you aren’t even aware of.
And when you don’t know, its easy to assume the worse. Everyone else is having more fun… *without you*. When really, their life is probably a lot like yours.
For me, the answer is like for most things: communication is key. We tend to think the worst when we don’t know. Its easy to forget on imvu that people don’t see so much about you and are forced to guess. Imvu is all about communication. Use it.