Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

How did you initially get sucked into the cyberweb?

SaltbearerSaltbearer Posts: 12Member

My fascination with the internet started with the Flash animations on Albino Blacksheep that my sister would quote endlessly in the early 2000s. We'd wait minutes for my dad's blue and white Power Mac G3 to load them over dialup, which our PowerPC running Mac OS 8 in the dining room struggled with. I quoted them randomly at school and, with additional assistance from Invader ZIM, became the weird kid.

My first taste of the power of the internet came in late 2006: the first time I downloaded a new song to play in the DDR simulator StepMania. I was always afraid to experiment with computers. I probably had a bad experience at 3 years old with not understanding the word "delete" or something that instilled, for many years to come, a persistent fear of breaking things if I ever touched more than a select few buttons. School computer labs with dumbed-down Mac OSes and home row typing-teaching programs only taught me that it was impossible to make a properly-aligned flowchart on a computer and that I typed very slowly while my tiny hands were stretched uncomfortably under a cardboard box and forced to make uninteresting words appear before me. and then suddenly in 6th grade I was supposed to already mostly understand how to edit photos and arrange columns for the school newspaper, which sounded like a fun elective at the time. that didn't work out. So, as downloads were one of those things I never experimented with, I ordered the freely-downloadable StepMania on a CD-ROM, which came preloaded with a handful of songs I'm not completely sure they had the rights to distribute while making money off of such sales. There weren't enough songs. I needed more songs. I found more songs. I downloaded a song holy heck. I PUT THE FILES I DOWNLOADED INTO THE CORRECT FOLDER AND THE SONG WAS PLAYABLE IN-GAME. It gave me an adrenaline rush. I realized I could indulge in downloading an enormous supply of new stepfiles for free. DDR had been my life, for more than half of my life. and it had the potential to be so much more of it. That realization was akin to discovering that unicorns exist and they're my arms and I can ride them anywhere. I was reaching into the internet dimension and pulling out raw fun. That is magical.

What finally sucked me in was posting to the StepMania forums for the first time. This was the better part of a year later. So far, my only interactions with others over the internet had been spamming my sister's meatspace friends whenever I could get my hands on one of her AIM windows, and posting to a guestbook with no authentication required. I'd been lurking DDR forums for years and decided it was about time I tapped the glass. I needed an email address. An email address! That's what every businessman needs to do a big ol' business! What every romance movie protagonist needs to receive emails from their love interest! What my dad made me say into a microphone for an educational flash animation when I was young and afraid of computers! It was time to put my Pull-Ups on because I was a BIG KID and I was gonna get an EMAIL ADDRESS. So I got one. It's the one I still use more than a decade later, meg. I registered on the forums. My chosen password was mailed back to me in plaintext. Upon logging in, I saw those beautiful cream-colored phpBB2 unread post icons for the first time. To me, they'd only existed in legends - specifically, the legends at the bottom of each forum explaining what each icon meant. I said something, somewhere. I was so excited. so nervous. I kept refreshing. waiting. Someone in the somewhere said something. It was another major rush. It hit me that I could put words in front of faces anywhere, as long as those faces had internet access and a mutual interest. That. THAT. that was an unprecedented level of influence on the world to me.

So I did. All. day. long. every day. forever. this was everything now. I put words in front of faces. I got pop-up windows telling me there were new messages. I touched a lot more buttons. I joined every relevant forum I could. I joined IRC channels. I made accounts on all major IM services and added random people on every forum who had public IM info. I did stupid annoying kid things and got told I was a stupid annoying kid. I made lasting friendships with remarkably patient people along the way. and here I am. u?


Sign In or Register to comment.