I've been on this website since I was 12 years old, and I'm now 17. This website and the friends and relationships I've made - those more temporary, those more permanent - have all so greatly affected my development as a person, it's difficult to express in words quite how I should feel about it all. At the very least, and I suppose it could go without saying, I can surely say I would not be remotely the same person I am today without this website and what some of the art I've seen has, some of the communities I've dipped into have, and some of the people I've had cyber-shenanigans with have done.
I believe I remember what brought me to deviantART. About five years ago (perhaps unsurprisingly...) I visited my auntie and was introduced to the game Super Smash Bros. Brawl - I can even recall my initial reaction, being unfamiliar with the majority of characters, but obviously familiar with Mario, Bowser, and Link; I remember playing a few games quite hesitantly but being very interested in the game, possibly remembering then a few conversations with some friends praising it as a great game. Eventually, we got a Wii, but I didn't get Brawl after largely forgetting about it. I can't remember all details, but I did ultimately eagerly receive the game and, avoiding unprosaic uncertainties, came to hungrily searching the game online, realising my dire love for it. It of course was not long before I realised that most of the images I came across were hosted on the same website - deviantART. It was similarly not too long before I realised that to view a number of works of art, I needed an account - and so I made one.
To summarise, understanding both that I'm awfully tired and can't be particularly bothered to write much more and that nobody really gives two tosses, if it wasn't for that outing to my aunt's and Super Smash Bros. Brawl, I wouldn't have come across fan-fiction, which has perhaps driven me to write more than I would have, and I wouldn't have come across the art, which has certainly driven me to at least practise drawing, and I wouldn't have been introduced to iScribble - the website which, in conjunction with deviantART, helped me form relationships with DarkPrincessZelda, MoNugisa, KaatheBigSnake, Kydeka, Leafions, and so so many other people that have shaped me in small and great ways - helping a small, strange and illiterate autistic boy develop into a larger, stranger, slightly more literate autistic nearly-man-child. I can't thank you all enough, I suppose.
To avoid sentiment fermenting into pretentiousness, I might just cut it there; I could drone on for thousands of words about all the people I've met through dA and what each of them has meant to me and, well, 'taught' me, but I think I've expressed enough how greatly my inner and outer being has been shaped, having been ingested by the internet and submitted to all its bowels and enzyme-people.
inb4 tl;dr or no comments
i'm not even sure I want to read through any of that lest I vomit or decide to close this tab without submitting it gurrhuhh it doesn't matter charles, nobody will read it - it's far too intimidating a block of text