So It's been over 10 years since I first made an account on Newgrounds. If there was a moment in my life in which I could say my life changed it would be that. Newgrounds is why I am who I am. It made me value what I value, it made me think the way I think and it is responsible for how I view the world.
I first made an account to review FUclock's videos. I loved them that much. It made me laugh so much. From there I went to Rupeeclock and eventually to the rest of the clock crew. While I mostly run away from the clock crew (it seems I can't take criticism from a crew I respect so much but that's a problem I need to fix myself) I still really enjoy clock crew stuff. It's been a big part of my life and I still include clock crew iconography in my profile pictures to this day. I am Smegheadclock and Smegheadclock is me. My animations may be crap but they are how I grew up. They show how my sense of humour has developed over the year. It's what got me into newgrounds. Even today I'm still finding out things about it. I like to watch it from an outside view. I want it to continue - only really prodding it forward (or backwards) during clockday. I'll continue my endevours to promote the clock crew through my little clock day movies - even if that means just making it in one day like I did last year.
The biggest impact that newgrounds had on my life was probably the entire year of 2007. It's generally agreed to be the year when everything went to smeg but it was also my entry to it properly. 2007 began the downfall of 4chan with Fox doing a report of 4chan - bringing in a new wave of people. It was also the year that the Iphone was invented. This resulted in an influx of normies to the internet - slowing ending the days when the internet was ours. We used to joke that there were no girls on the internet but that era was coming to an end. That being said, I found newgrounds a more traditional way. I played a game that linked to newgrounds. This would've been in about 2004 though as I couldn't read back then. Back then I only used the internet to play games. The most I had was a Habbo account. I hated Newgrounds back then because I couldn't read and it was too complicated to use. By 2007 I could read and found the place. I decided to give it a 2nd chance. First I played the games and loved them. Then I moved to the collections page - enjoying the war for the portal series a lot. The war for the portal series introduced me to the clock crew after I found that one of the groups in that were based off the clock crew - as well as the series including the clock crew itself. The rest is recorded history.
The biggest thing about 2007 was my group of friends. It all started with B. Specifically a review for it. It was made by a fellow 07 user named SuperBlast. This was just after the redesign so I accidently managed to click his profile picture. He had made a post so I decided to reply to it. He then replied back. This was the start of a glorius friendship. He soon afterwards met SaltShakerClock (as he was known back then) and we did the same thing with him. Me and Salt were the most active on Newgrounds and became the closest friends. I had also befriended Icecubeclock(as he was known back then) by continually managing to find his movies when they were in the portal. He would quickly change his name to IceBlockClock which he would remain for about the rest of 2007. Then there was Smico-The-Great. This man was not a clock. In fact he hated the clock crew. Our first contact with him was through Salt complaining about him. I quickly befriended him though and he became a friend of ours. We managed to convince him otherwise about the clock crew. This was the core of our friend group. We managed to get others to join over time though. I remember clockwannabe, orihime and I'm sure that Chris-The-Stick2 was part of our friends group but I don't have much memories of him in 2007 specifically. Still, this was our peak.
This era is what I often call the 1st peak of my life. I was on newgrounds for as long as I could be. I would often spend it just talking to Saltshakerclock and posting on everybody's profile pages - or spamming Smico's page. The very tip of this peak was the great RPG battle. We were like children playing in the playground - making up weapons that would overpower each other. It was the greatest fun I had ever had at the time. The greatest example of how much I love just being with my friends. The rest of the year would have to go by though.
The friendship ended with 2007. 2 events were the cause of this. The first was an incident on Deviantart. Salt got mad at me and used "british" as an insult against me. While I admit that I overreacted (calling him racist), I still think he did too. We were still willing to repair our friendship after this but it left a sour taste. The 2nd event was me missing his birthday. He was saving his 100th post for his birthday but wasn't used to not posting. He posted anyway before his birthday and kept the 100th post as his 100th post until his birthday. I didn't see any difference in his post and therefor forgot to wish him a happy birthday. This effectively marked the end of our friendship. He actively disliked me because of it. A few days later he would delete all his 100 posts - deleting our history together. While he did this for unrelated reasons it was the straw that broke the camel's back. From that day onwards we both disliked each other. He prefered to look forward and not worry about the past while I took pride in it. Even today you can look at my early stuff - it's embarassing but it made me who I am. Meanwhile he isn't even SaltShakerClock anymore. He's now SaltOverGray. There's nothing wrong with his way of thinking - it's understandable. However it is a difference in the way we think that didn't go down well with me at the time. It still irks me to this day. I tried to fix our relationship a few years ago but we're shells of our former selves. Neither of us is anywhere near as active as back then. Now he's not on newgrounds anymore - I've completely lost all connection to him
With that, the strongest connection in our friendship had collapse - therefore the rest of it did too. Superblast would move back home and therefor be unable to access the internet as much. IceBlockClock would rename himself Robclock and get on well with the clock crew - which he does to this day. Now the name IceBlockClock is an embarassing memory to him - one that clocks find hard to associate with Robclock now. Smico would move on with his life. I'm now banned from his page for reasons I don't actually understand. It must've been an accident but considering how much I've posted on SuperBlast's page I don't blame him. I have no idea what happened to most of the people from back then. I assume that they just moved on with their lives. The only one I maintain regular contact with is Chris-the-stick2 who is now known as BB10clock. He's maintained connection with me in a way I'm thankful for. He's been there to encourage me to do things since the start. At first I found him annoying but he's the best thing out there encouraging me. His loyalty is greatly appreciated. Meanwhile I sank into obscurity. I moved to the BBS and lurked that for several years. I wouldn't properly move on until the start of the Anime era of my life - eventually entering the 2nd peak with the dawn of 2006scape.
2008-2009 were probably the worst points of my life. Highschool resulted in the morals of most of my classmates crashing through the floor. Bullying started and I was completely unprepared for it. I maintained my morals from primary school and suffered greatly for it. I deliberately forget most of those times. However, who I was is still visible from my posts on newgrounds.
The newgrounds era of my life ended with the introduction of the art portal. Newgrounds had made me discriminate against anime. While it is looked upon positively now - it wasn't back in 2007. We had seen weeaboos and the worst of the worst. That was how I saw anime at the time and therefor ignored it. That being said, I was now 13 years old and the art portal opening up was the best time for me to be re-introduced to it. I had seen the artist Suwako and quite liked her art style. I would review her stuff and enjoy seeing her improve. One of the things she drew most was Vocaloid - another thing which has iconography plastered all over my profile pictures anywhere that's not Newgrounds. On the 27th of December 2009 I found out what Vocaloid was and that was the end of the Newgrounds era of my life.
The newgrounds era of my life made a huge impact on who I am today. 2008 and 2009 had moments where our internet freedom were on the line. This resulted in me valuing the protection of liberty over everything. Our freedom of speech has now become the main source of my morals. It made me understand the internet, the way our communities were and how they behaved. It was my first interaction with large communities fighting each other. I saw rivalries and a dislike of new people. I saw how the internet could fight each other. It has made me like what I like and avoid what I avoid.
Now it may seem like I'm barely on Newgrounds but I'm always checking this place. I took an oath not to leave this place "Till I die or it dies" and I'm sticking to it. Unfortunately "it dies" is a distinct possibilty. Newgrounds made a loss last year and now has to rely on it's userbase to prop up it's income. I'm only a student so I can't increase how much I give to newgrounds. I barely have enough money to survive the summer. I give $5 to make sure that newgrounds lives on. It's not much but it's what I have. I encourage you to give what little you can to make sure that this little site survives. Animation on youtube is dying because youtube isn't built for it. Newgrounds however, gives more money per view than youtube. Our ads give less money each day though so we need this. For our animation industry and for our youth to have the fun that we did making/watching flash movies please donate that little amount to newgrounds. If you can spare more then please try to at least match me with $5. Every little helps and doubling the money that newgrounds gets goes very far.
You may say that the supporter upgrade isn't worth buying (and I'd actually somwhat agree but would prefer it stays that way) but somthing that Tom promised a long time ago does make it worth it - sponsored videos. If we got newgrounds a high enough income then Tom promised to start sponsoring videos, not to make works that are newgrounds exclusive, but to get animators to make new content that is newgrounds exclusive for only a day. I we could get to that level we would be directly encouraging the industry and with Tom's scouting (he's quite good at finding good new animators) we have a lot of potentially really good stuff out there.
I've been on Newgrounds for 10 years now. That's as old as I was when I made my account. Most of my account keeps it's traditional images too. Newgrounds is where I can look to see who I am and what I've become. I'm here till I die or it dies. I hope that Newgrounds never dies.