Well I would aways think how it helped me in writing.
You're always told in school in writing classes or whatnot "think about your audience!". Well Gaia has helped me with that for sure, since you really do have an audience. I've been put on the spot a few times for saying things that I can see afterwards why I've been ignorant, or lack knowledge, like in art. I can also be a bit bolder too in writing. I've also learned to deal with unexpected things too like blind hate, misguided ignorance, and trolling. I may not be able to handle it perfectly, but I can at least expect it now with such a broad audience. (Unexpected acts of kindness trumps those though, for sure)
Gaia also helped guide me in art too, to practice art skills like figure drawing and still life, and not just stick to stale copycat anime drawings. I can now say I'm happy with where my art is heading.
I didn't meet my husband directly on Gaia, but a link someone posted 5 years ago in a subforum I used to frequent led me to the place I did. I never would have met him without this site, so no matter how far I may stray from Gaia, I wouldn't trade my time here for anything. mrgreen
my fashion sense, definitely! i was always that jeans and a t-shirt girl, but now i think a hell of a lot more about colours and layers... the other day in fact, i was trying to figure out what to wear, and i was like "well if i wear purple tights i have to have something purple on top too otherwise i won't be balanced!"
also stuff like confidence, argument skills (i got a really good grade for debating in english!) and art.
i actually owe gaia quite a lot, haha!
How could it not? Apart from being an introductory phase to the Internet and the rest of all that sentimental jazz, it's really a place — assuming the forums and the avatar have been prominent parts of the experience, which isn't very unlikely — where elements of self-reflection come together just like they do in a diary. You write when you're angry, sometimes; you write when you're euphoric, sometimes. Then life goes on and the parameters are shaken about a bit, and you come back to see the contrast (usually to your embarrassment) between past you and present you. It's been like that here, only Gaia is a public, interactive sort of experimental grounds rather than a book in a box under your bed; pretty much all your posts are archived, and most items remain near at hand. A lot of coagulated old memory gets stuck between the pages, so to speak.
And most importantly, on Gaia you meet — or at least come into some form of contact with — others doing the very same thing. There's another thread floating about right now about everyday idolatry in these parts. We look admiringly at others, pick and choose among their traits in the hopes of assimilating them and growing psychologically in the process. Sure we change in that kind of environment.
Or that's how I've come to interpret it anyhow. Take it for what it is.
I think the people have impacted me in some way through Gaia. The friends I've been blessed with to helpful strangers that discuss certain topics such as pets, gardening, art, health and fitness, etc.
also the ones on life issues whom I've met and got the privilege to help in some way.
It's really cute to see so many people finding a girl/boyfriend or spouse here.
Gaia doesn't really seem to have bled into my life as much. I would say I'm more fashionable, but my everyday wardrobe is jeans and a sweatshirt, so not really. I don't write or draw here either, so it's not like those skills were developed. I think I've just become less sheltered because of gaia, though I can't say what I would be like without it.
it helped me get into anime and conventions like mad crazy!
i also was able to introduce myself to people i know IRL because of this site through random events the topic got brought up and omg i had no idea how many of my current RL friends have an account!
I legit would not have started writing a book were it not for Gaia. My first few years were spent RPing, and it not only gave me tons of practice writing and developing story line and characters, but also made me realize how much I love writing in general.
I'm more into fashion because of Gaia too. I probably would never have strayed from my basic jeans + t-shirt look were it not for developing a fashion sense and style through playing with my avatar. But that is a little harder to pin-point exactly, so it might be just because I grew up and matured that I gained an appreciation for fashion. Who knows.