Personal

October//Unplugged

The days varied. There were hot days, cold days, days where the sky was unsure what colour it wanted to be. School was where I was for most of these days. England; summer turning into autumn has to be one of the most magical things I’ve ever seen. I know, I sound simple, but when you grow up in a tropical climate and the seasons don’t change, (although this is a blessing in so many ways) – watching a leaf turn from green to shades of red, orange and yellow, is a simple pleasure that I want to remember. (And yes, you probably can find me staring at a tree in the middle of nowhere.)

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There were many things I learnt in October and how to be independent without a smartphone was one of them.

There were two reactions to this; most people said “how did you survive” while others (of the older generation) said “well yeah”. For me, it was an achievement because although I don’t put myself in the category of the social media obsessed teens, I do acknowledge that it is a piece of equipment that I depend on every single day. And that’s sad. Without it, I felt responsible for making the deadlines I was set and the times I was supposed to meet or call someone. With my phone, all I had to do was call, text or snapchat someone saying I would be late and that I was sorry. Take that away and the guilt came rushing in.

It seemed that I wasn’t the only one unplugged from the online scene. Someone told me that they’d deleted all of their social media off their phones and that it was unnecessary. My immediate reaction was disbelief. I, one, did not believe a 17 year old boy was capable of living without his escape online two, well, I couldn’t see me doing it so I assumed if I couldn’t, he couldn’t either.

Essentially, the WWW is a treasure chest of information that we can use – translations, books, articles, gossip, everything you will ever need. But if I think that if we utilise these social media apps to enrich others – instead of flaunting what we have – we could show each other the goodness in our lives – really express ourselves. Our thoughts and our dreams instead of our physical yet meaningless objects that we detach our real selves from.

Being a 17 year old girl I find that social media takes a toll on the boys and girls my age and younger because there is a constant need to put up a superficial front that showcases the best of you. And although that is not necessarily a bad thing, it can create an alter ego that isn’t you and I have problems with that because I think that everyone should cherish and appreciate themselves instead of creating a perfect image of themselves that isn’t true to them and what they stand for. Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter etc. etc. are sites where people put on fronts and it makes those that don’t have the ability to flaunt objects as expensive or post pictures of their perfect bodies and faces that they are of a lower status and it feeds into the insecurities that young boys and girls do not need to have. At this point it seems as though I am just rambling on but I really am starting to understand and feel stronger about this day by day. I do want to change the way I use social media and share what I think and feel instead of what I do and possess.

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I’ve done a lot of thinking and I’ve had way too much time to myself – this is a simplified compilation of my thoughts and I hope to do one every month.

x Andrea

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