It is no secret to my friends and family, I am one of those people who spends hours on their laptop. I am happy to browse endless timelines and dashboards, commenting on pictures or writing messages to people. I created my Youtube account 5 years ago, and my Tumblr nearly 4 years ago. I was one of the first people I know to get Facebook, and when I was 12 I was making 'Bebo skins' for my friends. Basically, I don't know why it is, but I've always just got the internet.
The problem with all of this, is that a lot of people (especially parents) don't get it. They don't understand why we want to waste our lives staring at a screen. They think that talking to people on the internet is going to lead to rape, murder, abduction. And of course that's a possibility. But I thought I'd share my experiences with 'Stranger Danger' because in actuality, if you're wise about it, and go about it in the right way, with extreme caution the Internet can expand your social circles.
The group of people above. Can you see any old men? Any dodgy looking humans (not including me)... ? Of course not. You look at these pictures and you see a group of teenagers having fun. Well, the truth is, these pictures were taken over 2 years ago, and this was the first time I'd met any of the guys n gals above. We'd been talking for months and months, but I had never met any of them. And, two years later, I still talk to almost every single person pictured. Maybe not as frequently as before, but we're still friends. And some of us are even closer. I've met up with Emily a good few times, and I even went to stay with Ian and his family for Easter.
|Me and Charley|
And then, above is Charley. I met Charley through Youtube and a mutual friend a couple of years ago. And she is now like a big sister to me. She started writing her blog (you can read here) after getting inspiration from mine, and I could not imagine my life without her. I don't even remember how we started talking. We had one mutual friend but we hit it off straight away and have never looked back. Her family are one of the most warming loveliest families I've ever come across and once again, without Youtube we would never have met.
It's really important to me for people to understand I'm not condoning sneaking off in the middle of the night or lying to parents and catching a train halfway across the country to meet people you've met on the Internet. But people definitely need to be more accepting of the internet and its perks nowadays. Adults meet and fall in love from the Internet. People become best friends because of a mutuality. And teenagers are earning millions from videos made in their bedrooms.
If you're reading this as a blogger, you've probably met people through the blogging community already, and there are now massive organised meetups for Youtube communities to get together. So I am fully aware the world is changing. I just think others who might not understand, need to be supportive of it. Because if you're a parent, the chances are your child will just end up sneaking off anyway... (I stupidly did). It's far better for you to prepare them and know exactly where they are. And as friends, sure you might not understand the whole Youtube/Tumblr/Twitter/Blogger ok, every social network in existence thing. But be supportive of your friends. Seriously, it makes us feel totally isolated when you mock us. Even if it is a joke. I may be terrible at sport, but next time you need someone to sort out an HTML code, I am totally your girl.
Ciao for Now!