For the past few weeks, my area has suffered from four power cuts in total, and during all this my internet was down. As was the power in the fridge, so as you can imagine it was a rather stressful time. With upcoming exams looming closer every hour, and all my learning resources and revision files located online, meant that studying became increasingly difficult. Technology is a wonderful thing; it’s allowed me to access the entire history of the world at my fingertips, and conveniently in my pocket. Not only have computers made life so much simpler, but also my phone. Not only can I call people, it’s my alarm clock, my college schedule, my source of information and entertainment, a calendar, a camera and so much more. However, with the complication of having no power to charge my phone, or computer, I was forced to unplug from the internet, and social media.
I’m not about to argue that social media is the worst thing to enter the world, but being constantly connected to everyone you’ve ever known can be slightly addictive. It’s so easy to be caught up in the cycle of scrolling endlessly for hours, and before you know it, it’s completely dark outside and its 3am. (I admit, I’ve been guilty of it) Click baiting doesn’t exactly help either, with its ridiculous headlines created to draw you in, to later being disappointed that your favourite celebrity is in fact not a member of the illuminati, or whatever they come up with to lure you in. Notifications are one of the worst offenders in distracting you as the screen lights up every time your friend posts a tweet. It’s really hard to take a break, when everyone you know is constantly connected, and it can be hard to take a break and concentrate on the real world, even though your favourite people aren’t with you every minute. With most of the world having access to the internet, not being a part of it can be isolating.
Isolation is what I felt at first, when I had no means to talk to my friends without partaking on a journey lasting 3 hours and several bus rides. I felt so distanced from everyone because I wasn’t up to date with the latest memes, and I was missing out on what my friends were up to. With limited means to study, and not having all my friends constantly with me, I felt like I was missing out. Then, after I read a few books, tried to keep myself busy through making physical study notes, I started to realise how productive my time has been without those irritating notification sounds and the screen lighting up every few seconds. After a day or two, I started to not miss social media as much, and I found that I could get by without my phone for a few hours. It can be really refreshing to take a break, and as cheesy as it sounds, just appreciating the world around you can never be a bad thing. Instead of seeing the world through Instagram filters, it was nice to just enjoy the real world.
Now, I’m not saying that you should burn every piece of technology you own and never use the internet again, because technology and the web can be a wonderful thing! It can help you learn a language or an instrument, be your map when you’re lost in a city you’ve never been to before, your torch when you’ve lost your keys in the dark, and so much more! Use technology to your advantage, as it’s designed to make your life easier! It’s just nice to take a break from the parts of the internet that can be toxic if you spend too much time glued to the screen. Maybe, go for a short walk and leave your phone behind for half an hour, or read a book instead of a negative online comment. Technology can be a wonderful thing, as long as you use it in a healthy way. Being aware of when your internet use is becoming a barrier rather than a useful tool is important. Stay safe and have fun online!
Teenagers With Experience is an organisation created to provide teenagers worldwide with an online platform to share their own experiences to be able to help, inform and educate others on a variety of different topics. We aim to provide a safe space to all young people. You can contact us via email, social media or our contact form found on our home page.