- 37 Posts
- Age 19
Last Friday (15 December) UNICEF EU and EU2017EE hosted an event to launch UNICEF’s State of the World’s Children 2017: Children in a Digital World. I had the amazing opportunity to go to the event and talk on the panel about how it is to be a young blogger. It was quite an experience and I got to meet some amazing people.
It is things like this that make me realize what kind of incredible times we live in. These digital times offer us numerous opportunities and even though what we do sometimes seems very small – like writing one silly blog post – it can reach so many people and even just the potential that it will put a smile on someone’s face or inspire someone, somewhere in this world makes it empowering. Besides, it doesn’t only reach others, it also influences your own life in a way you probably never even noticed.
If I wouldn’t have been watching the news on a random day in my life, I wouldn’t have wondered what ‘the United Nations’ was (yes I seriously didn’t know). I wouldn’t have googled it. I wouldn’t have seen something about VOY. I wouldn’t have googled that either. I wouldn’t have posted my first blog. But most of all, I probably wouldn’t have found out how much I actually enjoy writing and thinking about all sorts of social problems. These were things far out of my comfort zone.
Also, if it wouldn’t have been for the internet, I wouldn’t have met all these amazing people that I met through blogging and wouldn’t have heard all of their stories. Without the internet I wouldn’t have read all these stories of people I don’t even know. So essentially, if it wasn’t for the internet; I would probably have been a different version of myself.
For me blogging is a very easy way to express myself. I’m am quite an introverted person who has a hard time sharing her opinion in the heat of an argument or even just in a regular conversation. It’s not because I’m too shy but rather because I like to have some time to think about what I want my opinion to be and most of all how to voice it right. I’ve mentioned this on the panel too and people later remarked that they would have figured it was the other way around, that the people who are more extroverted would find it easier to blog. However, for me, writing is simply the best way to express myself. I guess I never realized this because, what is the point of expressing yourself if you are the only one listening?
So, I’ve found my way to express myself, namely writing. What is yours? Be it talking, writing, filming, taking photographs, dancing, making music, … Whatever it is, the internet is an amazing place where you can share these things. Trust me, stepping up for what you find important or sharing what you love may sometimes seems meaningless but before you know it, it will have an impact on someone’s life and create these amazing opportunities for yourself.
It is however very important to either find a platform where you can do this safely or make sure you know all about the risks of putting personal information online, etc. – and reflect before you post. There is cyberbullying, the misusing of your personal information and so on.
We all know that there are pros and cons of living in digital times. However, we often don’t think about it whenwe put something online.
I think VOY is a great example of such a safe platform because it gives you the freedom to publish what you want, you are sure that you’ll reach people by posting on it and you get support and help when you need it. However, I don’t really know many places like VOY and I do know that none of my friends had ever heard of it. I think this is a shame because the internet has so many opportunities and there already exist safe online places that create opportunities. The problem is that there is so much you can find online and it makes it very hard to know where to start looking. Therefore it is important to create and promote safe online environments were children and young people can discover and be creative with the possibilities that the internet offers.