The Digital can be amazing!
Don’t you think it is incredible how easily accessible information is these days? If you want to know how to make the best Shakshuka, just google; ‘how to make the best Shakshuka,’ and there you go. Thirty minutes later, your boyfriend tells you what a fantastic cook you are… thanks to the Internet! This also counts for academic articles, among other things. When my mother told me she used to go to the library to find a reliable book on the right subject and just find the correct information, I laughed at her. I just google on a topic, click on an article and use ‘command F’ to search on that specific subject and here I go.
However, there is also a flip side to this whole easily accessible information thing. Because how do you know whether the information you found is reliable or if it’s just nonsense or ‘fake news’? Maybe the Internet makes information a bit too easily accessible. For example, when my little toe hurts a bit, and I Google it, I find out I have only three more weeks to live. No, it’s definitely not the fact that I bought shoes which were one size too small… As there is so much information on the Internet, it is hard to know what information is reliable. This can be difficult and confusing for, among other things, teenagers. Often, older generations think the Digital has a bad influence on, mostly the younger generation. However, I think we should look more at the bright side of the Digital. For example, how it can have a significant influence on teenagers.
Even for teenagers… the Digital can be amazing!
When one gets older, life gets more complicated, and questions about several aspects of life arise. This often happens among others during puberty. One starts thinking about subjects like gender, sex, love, the functioning of your body, and the future. However, these subjects can feel quite sensitive to just talk about or ask questions about your parents or friends. Luckily, the Internet has an answer to literally every question. However, for subjects like these, it is pretty essential to require correct, reliable, and realistic information. This can help a teenager to feel more comfortable talking to others about the subject, for example. There are several examples of things on the Digital that function as more reliable and easily accessible sources to acquire information and find answers to the different questions that teenagers consciously or unconsciously might have. I believe the series Sex Education is an excellent example of such a realistic source. This British series follows the lives of several teenagers. Sex Education discusses several personal dilemmas that teenagers often consciously and unconsciously run into. The series is an easily accessible way to discuss these subjects with friends and gain more knowledge about them.
Also, I think this series discusses topics that are not only interesting and educational for teenagers but for every age. For example, I watched this series with my boyfriend last week, and there was an episode in which there was a non-binary person in the class. After the episode, my boyfriend and I discussed what we thought about the episode and talked about how to address non-binary people. This was very educational and eye-opening as we both did not have much experience in doing this and started to think about this because of the series. I think series like this can help create a conversation about subjects some people might not talk about so easily. Also, this series shows that it is normal that you run into difficulties at a certain age and that you are not alone in this.
In short, I think the Digital is fantastic, and yes, it is important to always stay critical and not just assume everything you see or read is correct. But isn’t that something we always have to do in life, whether it’s about the Digital or not?
Pickhardt, Carl E. “Adolescence and Internet Information.” Psychology Today. Accessed 19 October, 2021. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/surviving-your-childs-adolescence/201402/adolescence-and-internet-information.