I've been on Second Life for over two years now. I joined in January, 2007. Here are the 7 most important things I have learned.
1. Keep Real Life and Second Life separate:
Don''t mix the two. Don't put pictures of your real life self up in your profile with other fun tidbits. Don't tell everyone real life information about yourself. Don't give out your phone number. Be very leery if anyone offers to "share" information with you. Protect your privacy.
2. The only way to really know who your partner or lover is is to meet in person:
There are, however, many cases of real life lovers hooking up in Second Life. I have to think though that one of you is bound to be disappointed in most cases if this happens.
3. The only way to make real money in Second Life is to make and sell clothes, become a highly sought after builder, or appeal to people's vanity:
There was a great deal of money to be made during the last real estate boom which ended with the gambling boom in mid 2007. But you are not going to be rich here. However, you can make 10,000 linden a day making and selling things, or having a DJ gig at a good club if you are lucky, and to many people, that could be considered rich.
4. Just because someone does not use voice does not mean that there is something wrong with them:
Many people are just tired of speaking when they are online and do not like to voice. I do not, I have voiced, but it is not my preference. Don't assume there is something wrong if they do not want to voice with you.
5. Anyone can look amazing with enough lindens and with professional help in Second Life:
It is easy to look good if you have about 6,000 Linden and can buy a top end shape, skin, and good clothing. But warning - use a professional photographer, model, or fashion consultant. It is my experience that people who look amazing themselves frequently cannot offer good advice Also, if you think you can put a hot look together by yourself, odds are you probably can't. But please, stop treating people who look great as superstars. I think this is ridiculous. They just had the money and help so that they could do it.
6. Don't take offense if someone "expels" you from a group or drops you from a friends list:
If a group is shut down you are "expelled". This is a dumb choice of terms. It is something SL needs to fix. Also, many of the people around here for a long time have huge friends lists (having over 500 friends is not uncommon) and people simply can't handle the huge amount of information.
7. Sex becomes boring after a while for most people:
. If you are in a relationship, or find yourself bored with Excite menus and pose balls, you are not alone. Make sure that you and your partner find other things to do together to make your relationship last.