I never used to bother about technology at all when I was younger. It may have something to do with the fact that other than Sega Vs. Nintendo, not a lot of people I grew up with was interested in it. We had a PC at home that never gained an internet connection for it’s entire lifespan. It was used for typing school things and playing Theme Hospital. People also didn’t really have mobile phones, not till I was reaching the end of my school years. Even then, the most exciting things were making ringtones or playing Snake on a Nokia 3330. The internet was accessible at school or at the local library, and even then, I wasn’t much interested.
It wasn’t till I found myself in Glasgow, being quite the loner, that I started a blog on livejournal, and I began to get involved with the internet. I started talking to people, who understood, people who are still friends with me many years later. As I have got older, I have found that I have become rather reliant on technology. Like, if I don’t have my smartphone with me, I feel lost. Which sounds very sad, and probably should make me really depressed. But, it doesn’t. And here’s why.
For years through my adolescence I struggled to find out who I was. I just seemed to follow other people, and never really spoke up for myself. Yes, I had my own interests, but they never seemed that important. I was really scared of being alone, and became quite anxious, and kept a lot of my thoughts and feelings to myself. Which, made any anxiety worse. And it developed into me really, really hating myself. I thought that I was a horrible person, a thought that has stayed with me since, no matter how silly I know it is. What helped me step away from hating myself so much, was the internet. I found forums and blogs where I could be myself, without fear of the very few people around me leaving. I slowly became more confident when I realised that I wasn’t alone in how I felt, there were other people struggling.
I think that finding this solace in the online world has been something that has stuck with me. If there is something that frustrates me I’ll tweet or write a blog about it. I’ll express it in a way that makes me feel better. I can message people from anxiety forums when I feel a panic attack coming on. It helps me cope with stuff around me. Particularly when I have reached out to people in my offline life, they have been critical of my depression or anxiety, which is something that I can’t help. If someone is rude to you online, you can always block them. That gives me control that I don’t have in general life, and it calms me down. Maybe it shouldn’t be like that, but it is. The internet is a calming little assistant that I have with me constantly thanks to my phone. And considering I work full time, have a social life and function ‘normally’, I think that it’s great. All these wee devices help me feel like a normal person, and considering I haven’t felt like that since I was 13/14, I feel it is a good thing.
If technology allows a person to feel free and enjoy the things that make them happy, I just don’t get how it can be bad. But, I am an adult. Though, I can’t help how much easier my High School years would be if I was so connected as I am now. If I could ask anonymous resources about how I felt, and chatted to people who were ‘like me’. I maybe would have been more in control of how my brain works. I guess there is no point wishing things could be different. Life is what it is, and technology has helped me a lot.