From the survey we took earlier in the morning, it’s evident you have access to data and spend most of your time online. Snapchat, Instagram, Youtube and newcomer Tik Tok are the top sites you visit regularly. So today’s talk will focus on internet usage. Later, I’ll introduce you to one platform that I believe will be hugely beneficial to your growth.
The internet is a very powerful tool. When I was growing up, perhaps in my late teens is when I got hold of Facebook. I would spend 70% of my days jumping from one wall to another, having conversations with people I would most likely never meet. It became a huge part of my life. So huge that my folks would mock my over-reliance calling me Miss Facebook, any time I was spotted with a phone in hand. It used to rile me up but it’s true that I may have wasted a lot of time there even as I built some connections. There was no meaningful talk per se. But it was fun.
I would eventually move on to platforms such as Twitter where I derived so much pleasure interacting on a slightly deeper level with strangers having shared interests. It became my home and still is, years later. This is to say that in your journey of discovering yourself, you may have to go through different stages of your Internet life to find your base. To find a platform where you truly belong even as you aim for the big one – finding your purpose.
The internet is also a dangerous tool if used for the wrong reasons. So you have to learn how to navigate these spaces. Maintain a level of privacy even as you share your world with us. Do not engage in cyberbullying activities. Unfortunately, there are so many reported cases of suicide that are due to cyberbullying. Be kind to one another. Check up on your friends whether online or offline. Beware of sites that spread misinformation and always be on guard. All I’m saying is this is the reality now. The internet is not as safe as it used to be.
Every teen’s rite of passage is to invent new worlds where they can fully express themselves without judgement. In a world that’s evidently high visual aiming for instant gratification, blogging has still stood the test of time. There are hundreds of blogs created each second and many are by people of your age. Blogging is a wonderful opportunity to add on to your profile.
Share your adolescent doodlings, your fears as you transition into adulthood, your joyful experiences, your battle with independence. Find interesting resources and write about them. Start this young and your way of life will be shaped forever. Your writing skills will thank you later.
Adults and businesses have always wanted to get an insight into what teens are thinking. We acknowledge the information gap. How do you leverage the internet’s desire for visual content to establish a presence online that’s impactful? One way to do it is to treat Instagram as a microblogging platform because it is. It’s more than having a collated feed. If you love writing then accompany your images with interesting captions. Make your platform a source of inspiration for your age-mates.
Be the representative of the teenage perspective on issues that affect you. And who knows, you may want to transition to video blogging (vlogging) in future. Remember you can venture into so many paths online for as long you wish to. Some of the web’s most influential voices now belong to bloggers, as young as you.
Don’t wait out too long to start blogging. I always feel like I should have started earlier. Nothing beats expressing your thoughts on your own platform for as long as you wish. It’s very easy to launch. Type WordPress on your Google Search and follow the simple prompts.
Learn how to manage your time wisely. You can have a life offline and still maintain an online presence. Have fun with it, live through moments. I would suggest writing some of the content in advance so that you have time for other activities including spending time with family and friends, and school.
Before I leave, kindly write down these 2 TED talks that will come in handy moving forward.
Thanks for having me!