so on the topic of cringe culture i feel the need to share a little story
10 year old me liked neopets and anime
10 year old me drew with a mouse and ms paint
10 year old me would have more than likely been labled as cringey nowadays but i was lucky enough to be on the internet at a time where most adults had the decency to be nice to kids who just wanted to draw their crappy anime ocs
one of those ocs was a super generic cat girl literally just named Neko
being that i was on flickr at the time (my dad was a photographer so he’s the one who made me an account on there) a majority of the people i knew were a lot older than me. a lot of them blew my tiny 10 year old mind with how well they could draw. by my standards these guys were basically professionals.
one of these artists in particular was a huge inspiration for me. while it wasnt phenomenal looking back at his stuff, it was absolutely gorgeous by my standards. we talked pretty often as we were in the same groups for anime art (bless him for putting up with my annoying 10 year old-ness) and imagine my surprise when i see that one day he decided to draw my crappy generic anime cat girl oc.
“The Character Neko is the property of Allykazam the pokemon. All rights reserved.”
i felt like i had made it big.
i honestly think about how inspiring this was to me as a kid a lot when it comes to how kid artists on the internet get treated nowadays. if it weren’t for such a positive group of people, im not sure if i’d still have drawn as much as i did. i remember when i saw my first Bad DeviantArt blog pop up i was so scared i was gonna end up on there.
im not saying you have to go out and draw free art for random kids on the internet just to blow their tiny minds, but the smallest positive comment on their shitty ms paint anime cat girl oc could really make their day and inspire them to keep drawing. sure it might look dumb and “cringey” now, but who wasnt at that age?
i don’t think anyone who didn’t find salad fingers by themselves or through a friend understands how truly terrifying salad fingers was
I think i was like, ten??? and my best friend was like “oh man you’ve got to see this thing called salad fingers!!” and I was kinda like… ok…. that does not sound like a fun happy 5th grade good time but ok
so we’re at her house and she has a COMPUTER to herself (rly big deal back in the day) and she knows how to TYPE and she slaps something into the url bar and clicks and. there’s salad fingers.
holy shit. holy sHIT. it was terrifying. she loved it and I was beyond disturbed. who is this deformed green man with his rusty spoons. WHY IS THIS SO SCARY?
this was not a fun happy 5th grade good time. my friend was thrilled. I think I screamed.
you have to remember to that I was at an age when I hadn’t really discovered the internet yet- I think I frequented neopets and maybe an anime chat room. The internet was a largely unexplored place for me. and out of its depths, out of the bowels of the internet comes this deeply disturbing deformed green man without proper fingers who. seems to be hallucinating. I don’t know. how do you explain salad fingers? where do you start???
There were no advertisements on other websites for this by the way. No one was blogging about it, this was before it went viral, it was not seen on any google ads. It just existed in the free form space of the internet and somehow my best friend found it, thought it was awesome, and passed it on through word of mouth. terrifying. imagine a group of about 50 ten year olds creepily muttering “I love rusty spoons” and then laughing hysterically. that is all I remember from the fifth grade.