I've been a member of this community for more than 8 years, I'm certainly not the oldest member here, but I think we all can agree 8 internet years are like a short eternity, it's a lot of time and just to prove it, tell me; how many sites have you been a member of for at least 8 years? I can only name one, and that's deviantArt. Also, 8 years are the 61% of the 13 years this site as been alive, so I've been here for more than half of this site's life.
As an old member of this site, I, like a lot of you, also miss the old symbols.
As stated on the official article, there are a few things that have been part of the site for a long time, without which deviantArt wouldn't feel like deviantArt, like the characteristic green layout or the user symbols that until recently, were part of the site.
I agree it does feel weird, the symbols I grew up with, so to speak, as an artist, are now gone. They were part of my DA experience, I saw some of them die like the @'s and saw others be used for the first time, like the #'s. I remember when Spyed was still $Spyed and then went to +Spyed. I also was there when lolly left staff and became the very first (and until then, the only one) member with no symbol at all. They are part of DA's history, and those who have been on this site for at least a few years will remember them with melancholy.
Now, going back to my personal history, I've been a member of this site for more than 8 years and I also have volunteered for more than 2 and a half years now (counting my first term, back in 2009) and I've stayed here for this long and I've volunteered part of my free time to the community for this long because I love the community.
I love interacting with its people everyday, old and new friends alike. I love making new friends! And everyday I interact with people I've never interacted with before. Some of my IRL friends started being DA friends, heck! now that I think about it, I even met my boyfriend here first! I feel inspired (and sometimes slightly depressed haha) by looking at the amazing art I find here. I've learned more about art thanks to DA, rather than from what they teached me at school, and I love how I can find a nearly infinite amount of resources and materials I can use and the best part? for free! I've also met people who have truly inspired me in many other ways, not just on the artistic side. I even have a small additional source of income here! I don't sell many prints but I sell a lot of commissions.
I love this site for many strong solid reasons and the fact the old symbols are gone is indeed sad, but that won't make me want to leave, not even make me love this site any less. Fortunately for me, these new symbols don't affect my DA experience. I still can interact with the same people, post journals and share new art the same way I could a couple of days ago.
I love the community, the art and the people here, those are the reason why I think DA rocks, not the symbols. Granted, is a little weird to look at the site and see these new glyphs, they feel alien, I still somehow feel they don't belong here, but I know I'll get used to them eventually. They are now part of a new chapter in the history of deviantArt and I know I'll grow to like them as well.
And that's another reason why I love this site, it's in constant change. I wouldn't love it the same if it stayed the same for a long time.
So, in closing: I love and miss the old symbols, but ultimately, they aren't that important to me, not enough to make me feel this isn't my home anymore, this change hasn't changed my love for the site and the community. I'll continue doing what I've been doing until now because my focus isn't a group of symbols that aren't here anymore, my focus is the art and the people who inhabit this site.
I'm saying this because I've read a lot of comments from people saying exactly the opposite, how they are considering leaving the site just for this change, or how they feel this site isn't their home anymore, how they think the community is going downhill or how umprofessional it looks now, etc. It's specially sad when said members are people who once felt and expressed such love for the community, some old friends and even some former volunteers. I fail to see the reasoning behind this, are the symbols that important to you? More than the other amazing things this site offers? More than the friends you met here? More than the amazing art you can find here? Really?
I know people, specially artist, are passionate and we express our opinions loudly. And I'm not saying is wrong, feel free to express yourself the way you want. It's just that I can't help to think some people is overreacting over a thing that in my opinion, doesn't deserve this many importance.
But this is of course, only my opinion. After all, I'm also a member of this community and as such, I also have my opinion. Also,this is my journal and I write what I think :P
Anyway, happy thursday!