I suppose it started when I was younger. My family has always been an active bunch – more likely to go out hiking than stay inside playing computer games or watching TV. I grew up with a love of reading. I grew up with a love of creativity. Sure, I could go outside. But, I could also stay inside and make my own magazine or craft a collage or finish a extremely exciting Boxcar Children novel. In 8th grade, I got my first cell phone. In 10th grade, I got my first smart phone. I didn’t get my laptop until I was a freshman in college.
I’ve always been interested in social media, HTML, and website-building. I don’t hide it from people; I don’t see anything wrong with it. I’m passionate about social media and HTML codes and building websites. My brother used to tell me to get off the computer. He said that I would regret all the time I spent on the computer later. It’s only been five or six years, but I have not regretted a single second. All the time he saw as a waste of time, I viewed as a learning experience. I viewed – and continue to view – the internet as an extension of my creative self.
See, we live in such a media-centered society. We’re surrounded by social media. We’re driven to share every second of our lives with the public (family, friends, even strangers). Yet, if you love the internet or you spend more time on it than, say, most people, that fact is pointed out and exploited. My love of social media becomes a kind of weapon – a way to bring me down and make me feel inferior.
For years, I’ve felt hurt when people use my passion for the internet as a weapon against me. Growing up in an active family, I’ve felt like I was doing something wrong. I’ve felt like there was something wrong with me. Sure, it doesn’t sound serious, but I feel like any kind of shaming is wrong. What you love should not be used as a tool for bullies.
Passion is something that makes life worth living. You will not find me apologizing for the fact that sometimes I’d rather spend time inside designing a website than outside hiking 3 miles in a forest. Creativity bubbles inside of my veins and I love utilizing the internet to channel my creative spirit. It allows me to market ideas, assess a demographic, and branch out in a unique, personalized way. Recently, I’ve come to understand that these skills are the building blocks of social media marketing. It’s a job! Wow! Look at that! My years of learning how to use the internet actually have a purpose!
Recently, I feel like this has become more of a problem as I branch out in a college setting and meet new people. It’s a “weakness”/”flaw” that people like to utilize to bring me down. You think I don’t understand how much time I spend on the internet? You think I’m not aware of my own internet usage? No one needs to point out blatantly obvious facts. And, you know, after all of the crap I’ve dealt with over the years for loving something as simple as the internet, I’m still comfortable with myself.
The Bible says, “Death and life [are] in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof” (Proverbs 18:21). We can use our tongues to spew out evil words meant to bring others down or we can use them for good to boost the morale of others.
Think wisely next time you open your mouth.