Growing Up Online

growing up online pro con
It's not news to anyone that growing up online is good and evil in equal parts. Growing up on the internet with its heavily edited Instagram imagery and online trolling can make adolescence an intimidating and overwhelming time. But let's not write the internet off completely. Recently I've been thinking a lot about how the online world has impacted positively upon my formative years and I have come to the conclusion that there are plenty of silver linings to the online cloud. Today I thought I'd share just a few things that I'm so grateful to the internet for bringing into my life as I've grown up. Maybe it'll inspire you to reflect on your experiences too!

growing up online good or bad

Checking My Privilege

I am a white, heterosexual, cis-gender, able-bodied atheist. I am PRIVILEGED AS FUCK. Self-awareness about these kinds of issues isn't something that anyone is born with, however. The fact that I've started to recognise and check my privilege is entirely down to growing up on the internet. Being online, watching and taking part in discussions, and reading blogs and news articles has been a major education for me. Posts written by amazing people like Shona have taught me to stop and consider people with circumstances which are different to mine. For example, how disabled individuals might in fact really suffer from a decision that at first sounds trivial to an able-bodied person, like getting rid of pre-cut fruit and vegetables in the supermarket. In short, growing up on the internet has taught me that sometimes, I need to shut up and let other voices be heard, or even better, to be an ally and attempt to amplify the voices of those who need to be listened to. I'm not saying that I do everything right or that I've got all of this figured out. I most definitely have not, but thanks to the internet, I will keep living and learning.

growing up online positive negative

Living My Best Life

Along the same vein of raising awareness, another way in which the internet has helped me grow as a person is in the area of ethics. Before joining the blogging community, I hadn't even considered vegetarianism as a lifestyle, let alone veganism, but the people I've met online have played a major part in my decision to go plant-based. The internet has provided me with countless resources and a method of researching how I want to live my life, whether it's through conversations I've had with online friends, or by watching videos or reading articles about ethical living. Even researching for blog posts I've written myself about being eco-friendly and going meat free have prompted me to make real and lasting changes in my life. None of this would have happened without the internet and for that, I'm eternally grateful.

growing up online good bad

Finding My People

Growing up can be quite hard when you don't really feel like anyone gets you. I had (and still have) many wonderful friends who I've met without the influence of the internet and I value them immensely, but very often, I still felt like the odd one out in a group. I was the person who didn't quite fit in; everyone seemed to have hobbies and interests in common except me. However, the internet has connected me to people with whom I share truly genuine connections. People with the same passions as me. People I can chatter away to on WhatsApp for hours on end every single day without getting bored or running out of conversation topics. People who I simply never would have crossed paths with otherwise. In this respect, I feel that growing up without the internet would've been a whole lot harder because I wouldn't have had these amazing people helping me along the way.

P.S. Shoutout to Chloe and her fab post on finding her people which inspired this section!
P.P.S. Thank you to Hels (who is very much one of "my people") for taking these snaps of me!

positives negatives growing up online

Yes, we all gripe about living life online. It sure isn't perfect and it can be full of drama and bitchiness from time to time but hey, tell me something that isn't! On the whole, I am glad that I've been growing up online. I think that I'd be far worse off as a human being without it.

How about you? Has the internet helped you to grow as a person? Leave a comment down below!

Until next time,

A x

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