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PokéCommunity nostalgia post #2 of ∞ - ANNIVERSARY EDITION!

Posted April 16th, 2011 at 2:30 PM by Mr Cat Dog

Today marks my approximately-one-and-a-half year anniversary here at PC.

Yes, I joined PC on this day seven years ago, but due to two prolonged absences on my part - one that no one noticed lasting from May to September 2004 and another, more public, one from October 2005 to March 2011 - it appears that I've only been an active member for approximately eighteen months. Huh... It would be heavily narcissistic of me to create a thread in Celebrations 'celebrating' this 'achievement' (and I hope no one does so today) so, in an attempt to keep some sort of decorum on my part, I present to you a blog post on maturity, longevity and life off PC.

The original plan for this was to link to a few of my old posts then natter on about how much this place has impacted my life. Unfortunately, the recent post count rejig has meant a lot of the older posts I wanted to link to, I now can't fund due to them being pushed out of the last 500 posts I made, so wildly improvised nattering it is! One thread I could find was the first post I made:
Originally Posted by Mr Cat Dog
Hello..... I'm new here, but not to vB Pokemon boards since this is the 5th I've joined (SPP, BMG, TPM and PWC are the others). Well, just came to say Hi........ OK you can stop looking now.... STOP IT!!!
In my defence, I was 13. But, then again, I know a lot of mature 13-year-olds who wouldn't use nearly the amount of ellipses and exclamation marks that I did. (I know now, of course, that the limit to a valid ellipse is three dots... See?) As well as this, I have absolutely no idea what the final two acronyms stand for. Any guesses?

As I've said to most people, I can't really remember much about my first sojourn at PC. Going through old threads is helpful, but they're more indicative of the forum culture I mentioned in my last nostalgic post, given that most of the members have big-ass lines through their names. In my welcome post, half the member who greeted me ended up getting banned sometime later! All I know is that I made some friends, became staff, got sick of the place and left unceremoniously. (My leaving thread: definitely not my best moment in hindsight!)

But the one thing I can remember this place doing, even despite the rampant evidence of precisely the contrary, is helping me grow up. Although the leaving thread is probably not the best proof of this, my writing skills came along in leaps and bounds. As Unce Ben said to Peter Parker in Spider-Man: 'with great power comes great responsibility'. Moderation required justifications for any actions taken, and gave a more liberating sense of autonomy and power not present anywhere else in my personal life. The sheer diversity of the populace - in locale and opinions - meant hearing a greater range of views on a multitude of subjects (well, until the T-Dome was shut down...) allowing for a broadening of my horizons and a greater tolerance for all the irritants in the world. All of these things I would have learned eventually offline, but being on PC at such an impressionable age certainly sped the process up.

And yet leaving was easily the best thing to happen to me at that time. During peak months of activity, I'd wake up, check PC while eating breakfast, go to school and try to check PC covertly during lunch, come back home and go straight on the computer for between 4-6 hours to check PC - sometimes not eating in the process - and then sleep. Although I can't remember much about it, PC was literally my life for just over a year... and that's friggin' scary, looking back on it. I have an addictive personality when it comes to things like this, so it's not surprising... but it still sounds shocking to me, typing this up. As well as this, spending so long on PC meant I developed zero social skills offline. I'm honestly surprised my parents didn't test me for Asperger's or something, given that any social situation would make me freeze up and just look down to the ground when confronted with it. Friends, I had few of, and they were probably more along the lines of acquaintances given my sporadic and spurious interactions with them. Life without PC was hard at first - there's a #firstworldproblem Twitter hashtag if there ever was one! - but eventually I became more of a normal, well-adjusted person simply by living a normal life, as cliché as that sounds. Somehow, by not acting like a crack addict looking for his next fix, social skills, common sense, wit and a semblance of a real personality began to develop where they hadn't before... just a few years too late!

(This isn't meant as an attach on people who spend long hours on PC or on the internet in general. Many people are capable of balancing their online and offline worlds whilst still retaining a large online presence. The way I did it, though, was to the massive detriment of my offline personality, which shouldn't be emulated by anyone.)

Coming back to PC all these years later, I feel like I have the best of both worlds: a reasonably confident and social (but still slightly shy) person capable of traversing the heaps of noobery and ass-kissing present on such a forum like this... which brings me to longevity. Although this is only my approximately-eighteen-month anniversary, to those who don't read this and don't know me and come across one of my posts I am, to intents and purposes, a veteran. (Got the emblem and everything - thanks Syd!) Offline, most cultures tell us to pay respect to those older and more learned than ourselves. Does this apply as much to online cultures such as PC? This post by Toujours, in the recent discussion on whether to make posts in the Trivia forums count towards total post count, makes me think so:
Originally Posted by Toujours
Post count, as much as a lot of people would claim otherwise, often signifies respectability. People look to the users with 4,000 posts for an answer to a question before they look to someone with 50.
Replace 'post count' with 'years spent at PC' (as well as the other applicable words in the quote above) and it becomes clear that 'veterans' have an inherent responsibility to act with a degree of respectability. If someone who has been here for two years or so is going around insulting members or writing in lolcat speech or just being a general asshat, that'll give encouragement to new members to do the same and create a downward spiral. I'm not saying that veterans have to write in perfect English with no spelling or grammar mistakes and present thoroughly researched theses to every thread they post in with an absence of smilies (as nice as that'd be). Just be careful with what you write, as you are implicitly setting an example to others through your conduct. To adapt the earlier quote by Uncle Ben to this situation: 'with some longevity comes some some responsibility'.

I'm not big on 'messages' but I suppose a post this long needs something to conclude with - it feels like I'm writing a law essay! To those members, old and new, who are reading this: don't be afraid to take a break from here if it's getting you down or for any other reason; do take anything you've learned here and apply it to your offline life; do take anything you learn in your offline life and apply it here; finally, just be responsible with what you say and how you say it and you'll go far: both online and off.

So... happy anniversary, me!*

*It'll actually be my parents' 29th wedding anniversary in just over half an hour's time, so an early happy real anniversary to you, Mum and Dad!


On a lighter note, I'll be changing my avatar tomorrow. I've got something planned, but if anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears. Only conditions: needs to be a cartoon/children's TV character that I've heard of and isn't from an anime or Pokemon-related. Domo arigato! :D
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  1. Old Comment
    Captain Fabio's Avatar
    *Claps* Well said about the post count issue.

    Happy Anniversary mate! Hope there are many more to come!
    Posted April 16th, 2011 at 2:56 PM by Captain Fabio Captain Fabio is offline
  2. Old Comment
    champagnepapi's Avatar
    Great read.
    I have an addictive personality when it comes to things like this, so it's not surprising... but it still sounds shocking to me, typing this up. As well as this, spending so long on PC meant I developed zero social skills offline. I'm honestly surprised my parents didn't test me for Asperger's or something, given that any social situation would make me freeze up and just look down to the ground when confronted with it.
    Also, you could have replaced that with the word "Karpman".
    Posted April 16th, 2011 at 3:00 PM by champagnepapi champagnepapi is offline

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