Surprise, surprise. I actually didn't have any form of Internet contact until I entered ninth grade, when it was required in order for us to send any assignments to the teacher. And it wasn't until January that I actually registered for a web service — in this case, Super Cheats. And when I stumbled across the Internet, I had already observed, and decided not to subscribe to, the type of speaking that used abbreviations, pipes, and such. Now that it's been almost four years that I've been in the net, I've changed a lot — not much in real life, as I'm always the one who chooses to remain behind as far as that goes, but in the sense of communication over the Internet.
My first submission on Super Cheats was a hint about capturing Regirock, Regice, and Registeel as well as how to get to Rayquaza. (It may no longer be in the system since submissions were regularly pruned before the archiving programme that started in November 2004 or so.) The hint was typed out in a meticulous format, although it eventually was broken up by the editors' habits that preceded the new PRO-submitter system, and it reflected much of what my stance of speaking was: formal, abusive of big words, and haughty to a point. And when I pioneered the question-and-answer sections on the site, I pretty much kept the same sort of tone.
Then, PKMN.NET. In May I came across its Spanish extension looking for photos of Mirage Island. In July I found the main site and registered — this was the first forum I ever joined. My first posts were shallowly demonstrative, many of them being experimentation with BBCode and copying and pasting of Pokémon reports I had written earlier in my life. As a result, I was regarded with looks of 'wtf?' all over the board, but then again, I hadn't been on the scene that long and had much more to learn. And when the admins pulled their joke of September by censoring 'Muuma' (there was a massive team called The Muuma Army, led by Rex) and then responding to calls for the censor being lifted by replacing several common words with 'muuma', I became ever more frustrated. It finally boiled over when my name at the time, Vennblomster, was censored. This rage followed me all the way to the formation of TPL.
Then, it was back to Super Cheats. Their forums opened in September 2004, and the members that joined immediately made a joy of it (the rumour had been circulated a few months back). This was just what I needed to get my forum use on track. Over time I developed an understanding of how it worked, helped mostly by tooling the rules from PKMN.NET to provide examples of how I thought the forums should be run (until I found that the configuration of the forums made full application of those rules impossible, and it was eventually discovered that the rules had just been duplicated and modified, so we were left with a meshed list that survives to this day and was geared mainly toward issues that were at hand at the time of writing. Nevertheless, it helped me so much that I was able to experience the joy of being a moderator of a respected website in March of the following year, although the promotions unfortunately coincided with the PKMN.NET fallouts. But I can't forget the smaller forums where I would communicate with people and help run things. One of hese forums was the Crow's Nest, the first forum at which I became an administrator, regardless of the foundation of the forum (a failed roleplay on PKMN.NET). I was very harsh there, as I later would become at Super Cheats upon promotion.
As far as speaking went, I got a lot better. Normally I didn't think about the topic before I replied (and admittedly, I still don't sometimes), and I kept up the formal speech for a while. When I used MSN, I adhered to graphic smilies that are now abhorred where I am. I can probably say that the graphical smilies were something of a change for me — I found it difficult to convey emotions any other way. By the time I had come out of TPL and returned to PKMN.NET, I had lost much of the formality, but it would still be some time before I reduced my speech, became slightly more terse, started using asterisked cues, and then moved on to text smilies at the endorsement of Lily. Each time I would get a reaction of surprise from whoever witnessed it — as you can see, Lily was astounded and Shiny Zapdos was horrified to see me use 'XD'.
So here I am, a moderator at the Pokémon Community, a DCC regular, and an MSN hog. Who knows what'll come next? I have a LiveJournal, which is good, but will I probably migrate to using the tilde instead of the ellipsis? Only time will tell~