Meeting strangers on the internet.

I’ll have you know I woke up from a very satisfying nap in order to write this. And I may have a black eye because I fell asleep with my head propped up on my hand, with my hand pushing my glasses into my face. I don’t want to look.

Today’s prompt: Who was the first person you met over the Internet?

We first got the internet at our house in 1999. I was 14, which was not really old enough to do anything online, but (and I don’t know if you know this or not) you can just put in any old birthdate in signup forms and hey presto you’re in! I distinctly remember sites that would permit the under-15 crowd to have their parents fill out a paper and mail it to them, then they would give you a username and password for their site. That happened. I swear.

My email address was sierra0812@limpbizkit.com and my life revolved around the Bolt.com Religious and Spirituality chatroom, where no one talked about religion and the points don’t matter. I used to get up at like 3:00 in the morning, wait like 10 minutes for my Gateway to boot up, then another five for the dial-up to connect. In the summer, I was on the computer for like 20 hours a day. I lost a crazy amount of weight, my hair started falling out because I wasn’t going outside, and nothing would make me happier than finding out a new way to misspell things. Like, did you know you could say “wot” instead of “What?” Or gr8, h8, m8, anything else that ends in “ate”? Then you could get ~rYlLy FaNceE n RiTe lYk dIs~

I don’t deserve to have any friends just for that.

Anyway. First person I met. I don’t really remember who the first-first would be. There was this guy that I emailed by accident when I accidentally misspelled my CCD crush’s email address. I don’t remember the guy’s name or anything, but I do remember he liked Stabbing Westward and I pretended that I did, too. The earliest memory I have of knowing someone’s name on Bolt and talking to them on a regular basis went by the name natelan and we were friends until a couple of years ago, then he got a little crazy and I really don’t remember what happened to him.

I couldn't find a good picture for this post, so here's the only MySpace picture I saved before they deleted my entire old profile without telling me. I've used this before. It's still fabulous. I'm ~18 here.  Almost 10 years ago. Holy shit.
I couldn’t find a good picture for this post, so here’s the only MySpace picture I saved before they deleted my entire old profile without telling me. I’ve used this before. It’s still fabulous. I’m ~18 here. Almost 10 years ago. Holy shit.

The first person I actually met in person from the internet’s name was Brian. I used to have my own website (smurfy.org represent!) because that’s what we did before social media. He left a comment in my guest book saying he liked my site or something and he lived around here. He also went to the Five Iron Frenzy message board that I super-frequented. We met in a Christian bookstore in the mall my ex-cult was in when I was a senior in high school. We were really good friends until maybe five years ago or so. He always hated my church and especially my pastor (because he’s smart) and that pissed me off so much. He’s ultra-Republican, though. I suppose everyone has their downside. He finally blocked me on Facebook after the 2008 elections. Whoops.

Bonus story: My very favorite roommate and one of my best friends from college wanted to be my friend after seeing my MySpace profile on the college’s group thing before school started, and we didn’t really talk until a couple months into our first semester, but the rest was history! Hooray! We were also pretty much the only Northerners in all of Georgia, so we really had no choice but to stick together.

Honorable mention for favorite website when I was in my chatroom phase: Kiwibox. Please tell me at least one of you were on Kiwibox. No one ever knows what I’m talking about, but that place was it. I was a reporter there for years (Even put it in my résumé once!) and there was more drama in the reporters’ message board than in all of high school and college combined. I miss those days.

I think I’m going to bed. I swear, one night I’m going to get a solid 8 hours of sleep. It’s going to happen. I believe in it.


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