I am not kidding. Growing up as an only child, I spent 99% of my time recording myself on my mom’s old white MacBook. I am talking about YouTube challenges, singing videos, and random videos with friends GALORE. I have cringe-worthy videos and pictures of myself from the ages of six to twelve. That is SIX YEARS of embarrassing (and now pretty hilarious) content. And I have videos of everything: cooking, eating, room tours, ‘Guess What’s in My Hand’, skits, talk shows, two-hour-long content of me sitting there doing my homework, and more. I grew up right when YouTube was becoming mainstream, and I always loved watching the famous YouTubers of that time. I thought that I had my life figured out: I was going to be famous.
Long story short: that did not happen. My old channel has long since been deleted (so do not go and try to look it up! haha), and now I get to shamefully enjoy all of the content I made from my childhood. I remember my mom also had a little point and shoot camera and I used to take pictures EVERYWHERE, and sometimes even try and vlog like I was some famous internet sensation. To top it all off, I have thousands of PhotoBooth pictures of myself and my friends/cousins.
Due to personal circumstances when I lived in Tokyo, I spent a lot of my time at home and I had to find ways to entertain myself. Filming became an obsession and was a source of comfort and happiness for me (a majority of the content I made did not end up online). When I was filming or taking pictures, I wasn’t alone. The camera was there keeping me company! The thing that amazes me the most is considering how much time I spent on iMovie, I still literally know nothing about video editing and/or production 😂 .
On a serious note, being able to film myself and having access to the internet allowed me to feel like I was a part of a community. I felt like I belonged, which is extremely important when growing up. I am really glad now that I filmed what I did because I get to experience some fun parts of my childhood again. This digital media exposure shaped a lot of my memories of my childhood and affected what I can/cannot remember from my youth. I have not figured out if this is a good or bad thing yet. I feel like I could have probably spent more time playing outside, yet at the same time, it is a unique part of me. Overall, the thing I enjoy most is going back every few years and watching random videos of me and my friends. I get to laugh and smile and return back to those moments, which is something that I will always cherish. The internet, film, and digital media have been a major part of my life from the start. I just hope that I’m not the ONLY person who did this as a kid 😅 , so let me know if you did stuff like this too. Then we can all cringe together.