The idea of the internet as a new form of communication, and allowing a new form of personality and expression is not a new concept for me, personally. As a child newly in secondary school, I was introduced to the internet in an IT lesson, and it quickly became an incredibly prominent part of my life. As someone who was a social outcast and constantly bullied, the anonymity and ability to recreate yourself online gave me freedom to express myself safely and find people from all over the world who, while I sat in an empty room, made me feel like I wasn’t alone. I had closer friends in America than I did in ‘the real world’, creating OCs (Original Characters) and Role-playing games to use them in. Most of those people I don’t know the real names of, and I will never meet any of them. Yet, all of us, thanks to the internet, became incredibly close and were able to create a safe place for all of to co-exist.

Eventually I moved on from the forum we inhabited to Myspace, Deviant-Art and eventually Facebook. By that point we had all metaphorically gone our separate ways, and I had was instead using online communication with friends I knew in reality.