i grew up on the internet
Perzine, Sidney Drmay, 10 pgs,@webspookie, Webspookie Productions, $7
This zine is what its title suggests: it’s about the Internet in all its strange glory— the wisdom and misinformation, the connection and alienation. Full of glitch-inspired net art and to-the-point prose, I Grew Up on the Internet navigates through chat rooms and forums in search of self-exploration, self-expression, and self-satisfaction.
If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance that the Internet played a major part in your first relationships. Maybe you used MSN to flirt with your first crush, something you never would’ve had the courage to do at school. Or maybe you used virtual worlds to explore avenues of your identity that seemed scary or shameful. Drmay remembers “spending days in virtual worlds / waiting for someone 2 say they wanna cyber /because sexuality was 2 confusing &weird / to talk about irl.”
But chat rooms and forums aren’t all smileys and ROTFLMAOs. There are measures in place to protect the virtual status quo — namely, the “ban hammer,”which strikes online outlaws without hesitation. Drmay, who goes by the appropriate handle of webspookie, writes about exploring queerness and identities as an Internet ghost, “making profiles onsite after site / lying about ages and names to seem cooler to other users / desperate for the smallest amount of attention.” This sentiment is probably as relatable today as it was back in the day. For better or worse, we’re living in an age of meticulous curation. You are the content that you share and the virtual connections that you keep.
I Grew Up on the Internet is a zine for all the net kids out there. And Drmay wants to be your “neon angel / watching over all the fucked up weirdoes / who need a little connection.”