When I was younger I was always told it was rude to be on your phone or any sort of digital device while you are at an event for any reason. However as I have grown and become my own I have come to realise and understand that smartphones and social media aren’t as bad as what I was led to believe.
One memory that sticks out to me the most was when I was about 9 years old. I was at a family event with my parents and my younger brother, being a little shy and not having any interaction with anyone at the function with the expectation of my brother. I was forced to entertain myself with the condition that I didn’t cause much fuss, noise or annoyance to anyone else in the room. Being young, in a place not equipped for children in the slightest meant the only activity that seemed interesting was playing either on my parents phone or on a Nintendo.
But apparently this didn’t sit well with many of my relatives, making way for one to get up and have a full-blown rant about how I was being unsocial and disrespectful to those around me. And of course to add the hypocritical element to the whole issue, which always plays a part when you talk generational division, was that in the next room there were five older men watching a cricket game in the kitchen.
The generational divide has created the assumption that being on your media devices or connecting yourself to the online world means that you are limiting yourself to reality. (At least that’s what I’ve been told by a number of older people).
With this in mind for a long time I was torn between doing what seemed right, amercing myself online and trying to please my elders by doing what they deemed was right (spending as little time online as possible).
But now we take a step into the present, a time where my online presence has grown dramatically. Becoming a Communications and Media student allowed me to explore what was essentially built for my generation in a way that would give me a pathway into my dream job (which I’m still not sure about but I still have a year to figure that out). Now my place in media is completely different to what is was when I was 12 years old, I have numerous social media accounts that are helping me to launch myself into success but also into my identity. I am even using my media space to help my parents launch and expand their success and at a basic level their connectivity.
However, I do believe that no matter how much my media space grows, the stigma that surrounds media space and has me backing into a corner as I receive disgraced looks from those of an older generation while I’m on my phone, will always be around. It will be around for as long as people don’t understand what it all means and how it all fuses together.
But for me right now, sitting here on my laptop, occasionally scrolling through Facebook, checking my snapchat and looking for funny videos on YouTube to pass the time when I can no longer think, is where my media space thrives. It’s placed in all these areas and it creates the bigger picture of who I am.
It does not mean that I am unsocial.
It does not mean that I am disrespectful.
It means that I am media and media is me!
And no one can take that away from me!