"He has visited Whyville 1380 days since Saturday May 14, 2005," reads user Lolypop93?s City Records on a interactive game site. A decade ago, things were quite different. Being a child born into the Internet generation, these changes revolve mostly around technology.
On Saturday, May 14th 2005 I was an 11 year old boy who had previously been given his own desktop (a decision my parents probably shouldn't have made). Nonetheless, I indulged into the world of online games. After hearing from a friend at school about Whyville, I decided to make it my next elementary school kid conquest.
What I found on Wayville was far from what I expected. It was truly a community, and virtual world with over 10 million users at the time. I was hooked. I found myself having healthy friendships with those I was meeting through the site, which believe it or not I think helped my social skills.
The simplicity of it all is so surreal for me to look back on. It was literally a place where one user could be well known for either having a rare 'face part' or just simply being a Why-celeb. Writing for the Whyville Times was a competition and I would always be let down when my article didn't make the cut.
As the generation has continued to use tablets and smartphones, a place like Whyville will always have competition. But truthfully, I love this website. I am so glad to have a memory that I can keep to myself, and smile when I think about. Every 1380 days of my logging in has been an experience, whether it was an update to the site or just taking a trip down memory lane.
Here I am, 11 years later. I'm 22 now, and yes I still feel like a child. Whyville and anyone reading this, thank you. Thank you for being my virtual home away from home.