Where did I come from and where will I go?
It wasn’t until I went to high school that I got my first smartphone and I was 16 by the time I got a data bundle so I could browse the internet when not at home or at school. A lot has changed and happened since I first came into contact with the internet and digital devices and this course has helped me think about that, so here’s my journey of the digital and online!
The only reason I got a smartphone was because my parents had to get one for their work and it would make it way easier if I too would have a mobile phone that could have WhatsApp on it. I got a Samsung S2 Mini, a very small phone that could fit maybe two games and the essential apps on it. Back then it was the greatest thing I ever had the privilege of holding in my hands. I remember that I used it to watch youtube and read ebooks, no social media at all.
I didn’t use social media until I got to my third year, so I was 14 years old then. I used Instagram for a bit, but it seemed boring to me and still does now. It didn’t really let me learn or discover new things, it just shows people’s pictures of themselves. Instead, I mostly used Tumblr and Pinterest because of their then super random front pages. With algorithms still being a work in progress, I would just run into the most random things every day and simply discover new topics to get invested with. It was the greatest thing ever for me and I am honestly sad that social media now don’t have a random shuffle function so I can just enjoy seeing random shit on my front pages.
That is how it continued for me, just me interacting with random topics and a handful of youtubers. When I went to university, that’s when things started to change. I had a rule with myself that I made for my own safety: I was not going to interact and linger in any communities online until I was 18. I stuck to it, which I am really glad I did. Since the summer of 2019, I have become part of many communities online, most of which are streamers on Twitch. I have made many friends and many happy memories in these communities while also sharing in the worse days and events that have happened since.
Where I may go is a big mystery, but the internet holds many possibilities. I have been streaming for fun on Twitch for over a year now and I really enjoy it. While I am not aiming to become the next Pokimane or whoever may come after her, I would not turn down any offers or chances that may make their way to me.
This course has made me realise a few things about the use of the internet and social media, especially about how I compare to others. I have never been interested in the more personal social media platforms, while those were the ones that rose the fastest in popularity. It did not interest me at all to share my life and myself with essentially the entire world. I preferred learning and entertainment. I now realise that it has and will save me troubles in the future, as many job interviews tend to be done after your potential new boss has tried to learn everything they can about you based on what you share on your social media. I have become more aware of my privacy and the safety of my data that these social media platforms collect.