Sometimes my brain goes into over drive and produces word vomit. This blog post is word vomit – for sure. A lot of thoughts and little process. Enjoy – haha!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Man, I’m glad I didn’t grow up with the internet. A bold statement from someone whose full time job and hobby wouldn’t exist without it. But honestly, I’m really glad the internet became a “thing” when I was older.
To be clear, I’m not old enough to have grown up without the internet fully. The internet back when I was young was a completely different ball game to what the internet is now. I had Bebo for about 5 minutes, MySpace for a couple of years and I watched funny videos of sloths on Youtube for a laugh. I had to dial up my internet, my phone didn’t even have a camera and my “computer time” was mainly spent on MSN logging in and out to get the attention of my crush whilst playing The Sims. The internet then isn’t what it is now.
Nowadays the internet is so advanced – but you didn’t need me to tell you that. It’s in your pocket, on your iPad, iPhone, iMac. It’s on your radio, your TV and even on your coffee machine. When you take a moment to think about how advanced everything has become, it’s pretty amazing but also quite scary. You can’t escape the internet, unless you go off grid and live in a field.
When I was younger, I could walk into my house after a day of school or out playing and I was unreachable. There was no expectation to be on MSN or to text anyone back on my Nokia 3310. If anyone wanted me, they’d ring my house phone. Wow, remember landlines? And even then, it was up to my parents whether they’d let me chat or not. Young kids and teenagers these days don’t have that luxury anymore. The internet is instant and everywhere and it’s almost expected of them to be constantly reachable. Teenagers don’t get a break from people, technology or the general pressures of being a teenager itself. Those pressures now follow you inside your home.
The bullying that happens at school or down the park, now ends up at home in your bedroom, on your screen. I’m definitely one of these people that agrees with the fact the internet makes kids grow up too fast. The situations teenagers can be put in because of the internet makes them have to mature quicker. Kids are mean (adults are too) and the internet subjects teenagers to see much more than I could ever have imagined. Being young in this tech savvy world isn’t something I think I would enjoy.
Because of the internet, no one hangs out in the garden with a book anymore or rolls around on a skateboard pretending they’re actually any good. No? Just me then?
I’m so grateful for living (a bit of) my life without the internet. My teenage pressures mostly stayed outside and my home was my safe space. I got to experience being a young properly, with the make up errors, bad taste in clothings and a shitty attitude. Without being ripped apart by others online. The internet is so common that everyone and their Uncle is on it. Which means everyone and their Uncle has something to say. Whether it’s good, bad or ugly. I really enjoyed the days of uploading a selfie and knowing I’d get nothing but positivity on it from my friends. I’d never expect something negative from a strange man who randomly found me online and now wants me to send him photos of my feet (this happened once, I kid you not).
Do you want to know what makes me feel sad? The fact young girls today won’t get to experience using dream matte mousse in the wrong shade and roll on glitter. As a teenager, I was so unsure of who I was. I spent a lot of time trying to copy my sister because I thought she was the shit. I wanted to be as cool as her. I tried to be edgy, individual, kind, mean, sassy and so much more. I tried on different versions of myself to see what fit. I’d get the odd shit remark from some kid in real life and maybe another shit remark on MySpace but they weren’t ever bad. I never felt properly hurt (from what I can remember). These days, you’d get a plague wished upon your family if you said the wrong thing or posted a photo with bad hair. The internet isn’t accepting of phases, mistakes and bad make up. The freedom of ‘the early internet days’ let people just be themselves without any backlash or unwanted opinions. It was more accepted to be who you wanted to be on the internet. Where as these days, you can be whoever you want. To any extent. I’m talking fake profiles, fake images, overly edited photos and stolen identities. But that’s a whole other discussion within itself.
I’m glad I didn’t grow up with the internet constantly in my hand. Those who grow up with it now have a lot more to deal with and I don’t envy that. Conforming to social pressures constantly is exhausting and I’m so glad when I closed my front door, I left that all behind.
The internet is such a different place when you’re an adult. I like it, most of the time. I honestly don’t know how I’d get through the day without the internet – which could be deemed as a bit sad. However it’s part of life. From my job to cooking dinner – I need it. Because who ever remembers how long you should boil veg for?
But if I were a kid in 2019, I’d really hate the internet.