MidReal Story

Digital Connections

Scenario: 2010s story: I am a 14 year man searching through the internet, typical club penquin, my typical MySpace being unpopular, I live in California.
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2010s story: I am a 14 year man searching through the internet, typical club penquin, my typical MySpace being unpopular, I live in California.
I was 14 years old when I first logged onto the internet.
It was 2010, and I had just gotten my very first laptop for my birthday.
I remember the excitement I felt as I booted it up for the first time, the screen flickering to life as I waited with bated breath.
The internet was a whole new world to me, a place where I could be anyone or anything I wanted to be.
I could talk to people from all over the world, play games, watch videos, and listen to music.
The possibilities were endless, and I couldn’t wait to explore them all.
The first thing I did was create an email account.
I spent hours trying to come up with the perfect username, something that would make me stand out from the crowd.
After much deliberation, I finally settled on “tylerjensen123” and moved on to the next step: creating a password.
I knew that I wanted to do more than just send emails, though.
I wanted to be a part of something bigger, to connect with people who shared my interests and maybe even make a few new friends along the way.
So, I set out to find my very first social media platform.
I was scrolling through YouTube one day when I came across a video of two friends talking about all the websites they used to go on when they were younger.
They mentioned MySpace, and I was immediately intrigued.
I had never heard of it before, but it sounded like the perfect place for me to start my social media journey.
After a quick Google search, I was redirected to an outdated website that looked like it hadn’t been updated since the early 2000s.
There were flashing banners and neon colors everywhere, and for a moment, I was worried that I had been scammed.
But after scrolling through the page and reading the description, I realized that this was the real MySpace.
My excitement returned as I clicked on the “Create Account” button, eager to start my next big adventure online.
After all, this was the place where people went to chat with their friends and post pictures of themselves, right?
The registration page was simple enough, asking for my name, email address, date of birth, country of residence, and gender.
I quickly filled out all the required fields and clicked the “Sign Up” button at the bottom of the page.
A pop-up appeared, asking me to confirm my email address before I could log in, so I switched tabs and went back to my inbox.
There was an email from MySpace waiting for me, with a confirmation code that I needed to enter into the website to prove that I was a real person.
After I had entered the code and pressed “Submit,” MySpace congratulated me on creating an account, and I was finally able to sign in for the first time.
The first thing I noticed was that there was no profile picture or background image to set up, like you could on other social media platforms.
Instead, there was just a blank white page with my name at the top, next to a small circle with a letter inside of it.
I guessed this was supposed to be my profile picture but decided to leave it blank for now until I could find something better to use.
I scrolled through all of the tabs on the left side of the screen, trying to figure out how to customize my profile page like I had seen others do before.
After a few minutes of clicking around and getting nowhere, I decided to give up and come back to it later after I had watched a few tutorials on YouTube to see how it was done.
I searched for “MySpace Profile Setup” on YouTube and found a video with millions of views that promised to teach me everything I needed to know about setting up my new profile page.
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The video started out by explaining how important it was to have a good layout for your profile if you wanted people to notice you online.
It said that there were hundreds of free layouts available online that you could use to make your profile look amazing but that I would have to follow a few simple steps first.
The video creator told me to click on the “Home” tab at the top of the screen and go to the “Themes” section where I could choose a layout for my page from dozens of different options.
I scrolled through all of them, looking for something that suited my style before finally selecting one that looked good in both light and dark mode.
Once I had chosen a theme, it was time to add some friends to my profile so that it didn’t look empty when other people visited.
The video creator said that adding friends was a great way to meet new people online and that I should start by adding my top eight closest friends.
Seeing as I didn’t have any friends who used MySpace yet, I added my dad instead.
It took me a minute to figure out how to do this since he wasn’t listed in my friends list under his name: Tom.
I had to search for him using his email address instead before I was finally able to send him a friend request.
I thought it was weird that he was the first person in my top eight friends list but didn’t spend too much time dwelling on it.
Instead, I moved on to adding the rest of my family members who were also on MySpace and had been automatically added into my friends list in the background while I was setting up my account.
This was when things started to get interesting.
After adding all of my relatives and their friends who were using MySpace (and even some people who lived in the same town as me), it was time to move on and add some celebrities.
I clicked on the “Featured Profiles” section at the bottom of the page and started scrolling through the list of famous people who were using MySpace at the time.
There were hundreds of different celebrities from all over the world taking part in this initiative, and I couldn’t believe how many of them there were.
There were TV stars and movie actors, musicians and comedians, politicians and athletes— you name it!
The video creator had also made another tutorial for how to befriend these famous people if you didn’t know them personally and wanted to add them as your MySpace friends.
It said that there were three different ways you could go about doing this: by sending them a friend request as normal and waiting for them to respond, by sending them a message asking if they wanted to be your friend or by joining their fan club.
All you had to do was click the “Add Friend” button below their profile picture and make sure you typed in the correct email address so that they received your request.
I started adding some of the celebrities I liked (and some I didn’t) one by one until I had added over 200 people in total.
I even joined some of their fan clubs just for fun while I was at it.
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But then I realized that there wasn’t really anything else for me to do on MySpace now that my profile was set up and all of my friends were added.
I could have spent the rest of the day customizing my profile even further by adding more pictures and music clips or writing blog posts about what I was up to in real life, but I wasn’t really in the mood for that kind of stuff right now.
And besides, it wasn’t like anyone would be able to see it anyway since no one I knew used MySpace anymore.
In fact, I hadn’t come across a single person who was still active on this website while searching for new friends to add (not even my own dad).
I guess it was just one of those things that happened when you were late to the party and everyone else had already moved on.
But even though MySpace wasn’t as popular as it used to be back in its glory days, I didn’t want to delete my account just yet.
I mean, there was still a small part of me that wanted to hold on to it for old times’ sake— just in case it ever made a comeback one day.
So instead of deleting it right away, I decided to keep my account open for now and see if anything interesting happened in the meantime.
But just as I was about to log out and call it quits for the day, a pop-up ad suddenly appeared on my screen out of nowhere and caught me off guard.
It was an animated banner ad that had popped up in front of me while I was scrolling through MySpace’s homepage trying to find something to do next.
It was advertising some other website called “Club Penguin” that supposedly offered even more fun and adventure than MySpace did.
It said that this new and improved website was where you could waddle around and meet new friends while playing games with them at the same time.
It sounded like a lot of fun to me and exactly what I needed right now— so I decided to give it a try!
The ad contained a link that I could click on to visit Club Penguin’s official website and sign up for an account there.
I clicked on it right away and was immediately redirected to their homepage after exiting out of the ad.
It was full of colorful pictures and animated graphics that caught my attention right away and made me want to explore it even further.
And so I quickly created an account there and chose a penguin name for myself before logging in for the very first time.
I was now on Club Penguin’s virtual login screen that said “Welcome to Club Penguin: The Online World” right above it in big, bold letters right before I entered their website and was greeted by another colorful landing page that had my penguin avatar waddling around on it while waving to me from side to side with his flippers outstretched like he was happy to see me!
I couldn’t believe how detailed and lifelike these penguins were considering they were just cartoons on my computer screen, and I was eager to explore this new virtual world and see what else it had to offer me now that I was finally here!
I clicked on the “Go!” button at the bottom of my screen and entered their chatroom with all of the other penguins who were currently online and playing at the same time as me.
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I couldn’t wait to meet and chat with all of the other penguins on this website who were currently playing and having fun on here at their favorite place and time of day.
I had no idea what to expect when I first got here, but from what I could tell, it was going to be even more amazing than MySpace was!
There was so much more that you could do on here besides just adding friends and customizing your profile with pictures and music.
You could also waddle around and explore their virtual world while playing games and chatting with other players too.
And that was exactly what I was planning on doing right now while I was waiting for some of the other players to arrive.
After all, there was no point in being here if you didn’t get to experience everything that this place had to offer you during your visit!
So I waddled around for a bit and explored their website while I was waiting for some of the other players to come online.
I couldn’t believe how much fun it was to waddle around and explore their virtual world on here.
It was like being a real-life penguin living in Antarctica and going on all sorts of wild adventures while playing games with your friends at the same time.
I never would have thought that sitting in front of my computer all day and pretending to be a bird could ever be this much fun, but it really was!
I couldn’t wait to see what else Club Penguin had in store for me next after this once I was finally ready to start playing some of their games and chatting with some of their other players too!
But in the meantime, I was just going to keep on waddling around and exploring this new virtual world since it was all still so new and exciting for me.
And so I did just that until I eventually ran into another player who was also waddling around at the same time as me.
She had long blonde hair and was wearing a pink dress in addition to her orange beak and flippers, which made her stand out from all of the other penguins who were currently online and playing at the same time as us too.
“Hi there, little penguin!My name is Emily.” She said with a smile on her face.
“What’s yours?”
“Hi Emily, my name is Tyler.I said with a smile on my face too.
“I’m new here.” I added quickly before she had a chance to say anything else.
“That’s okay, I’m new here too.” She said with a giggle.
“I was actually just logging in for the first time when I ran into you.”
“Really?”I asked in disbelief.
“Small world, huh?”
“I know, right?”
She said with a smile.
“But don’t worry, I’ll show you around if you want me too!”
“Thank you so much!”
I said with a smile on my face.
“You’re so nice!”
“Aww, thank you!”
She said with a giggle before grabbing me by the flipper.
“Now come on, let’s go find you something fun to do!”
And so she showed me around Club Penguin and introduced me to some of their other players who were currently online and playing at the same time as us too.
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A few things that she taught me were how to use their chat function so that we could talk to each other while we were playing, how to add friends so that she could help me make some along the way, and how to avoid getting silenced or banned by their mods since they were known for being strict when it came to their rules.
“There are actually only two ways that you can get silenced or banned on here.” Emily explained.
“The first is by swearing or saying anything inappropriate, which as I’m sure you’ve already noticed by now, their chat function doesn’t allow you to do anyway since it automatically filters out any bad words or phrases that you might try to say.”
“I definitely noticed that.” I said with a giggle.
“The other thing is by giving out too much information about yourself since that can be really dangerous.”
“That makes sense.” I said with a nod.
“So is that why you didn’t tell me your last name when we first met then?”
“Yeah, pretty much!”
She said with a smile.
“But don’t worry, we’ll still be able to talk and have fun together without having to worry about any of that stuff since I know how much you like talking!”
I smiled back at her.
“And besides, that’s what friends are for anyways, right?”
That’s right!”
She said with a nod.
“And speaking of friends, how about we go find some of ours now?”
She asked before grabbing my flipper again.
“Now follow me!”
And so she took me over to the town where we found a lot of their other players who were currently online and playing at the same time as us too.
Some of them were just waddling around, some of them were talking, and some of them were even playing some of their games that they had set up for us to play too, which was exactly what I had been hoping for.
So with that being said, I couldn’t wait to start playing them now that I was finally ready to give them a try after this.
But first, Emily was going to show me around some more so that we could meet some of their other players along the way, which sounded like a lot of fun to me!
“Over here is the pet shop!”
She explained, pointing towards one of their other buildings that was just past their town square where we were currently standing.
“And over there is the pool, but we can’t swim there yet since you need to be at least thirty days old in order to do that.”
“That’s okay,” I said with a smile.
“And what about over there?”
“That little place is called the dock, but I don’t think that there’s anything for us to do there right now though.”
“That’s okay too.” I said with a giggle.
“Because I’m having so much fun just hanging out with you!”
“Aww, you’re so sweet!”
She said with a smile before taking me back to the town where we found another player who was also waddling around at the same time as us too.
“Hi there, little penguin!”
She said with a smile on her face.
“My name is Emily.”
“Hi Emily, my name is Tyler.” I said with a smile on my face too.
“I’m new here.”
“That’s okay, I’m new here too.” She explained.
“And I was actually just showing him around when we ran into you.” She added, pointing towards me.
“But the more the merrier!”
So with that being said, all three of us waddled around together after this before eventually running into another player who was also waddling around at the same time as us too.
And his name was Marcus.
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“And this is Tyler.”
She explained to him after introducing us to each other too.
“I was actually showing him around the island when we ran into you.”
“But it’s always nice to meet new friends along the way, right?”
“Sure is!”
I said with a smile before waving at him.
“Hey there, Marcus!It’s nice to meet you.”
“Hey Tyler!”
He said with a friendly smile on his face before waddling over to us too, making it so that all three of us were now hanging out together.
But while we were waddling around together, she introduced me to the Pizza Parlor where they could eat some food, the Coffee Shop where they could make some coffee, and even showed me a secret room that was behind the Night Club where they could all hang out and dance together in private too until they had to go home for the night or something like that, which sounded like a lot of fun to me as well!
She also introduced me to these little animal creatures that they called puffles who were apparently able to help them out with stuff from time to time as well, making it so that I would be able to adopt one for myself if I wanted to as well.
“So which color do you want to adopt?”
She asked once we were back outside again.