I am a self confessed internet addict. As I rapidly approach the 20k tweets mark, I hang my head in shame, thinking "what have I possibly been saying?!" I have quite literally two tweets for every WORD of my entire university graduate dissertation. HOW?! Barely a day goes by that my iPhone doesn't run out of battery cause I've drained it down using my unlimited free wifi. To my parents and people of their generation, the Internet mostly serves the purpose of finding a particular phone number or perhaps the opening hours of a shop, but to me and most of my generation, the Internet is everything. It sounds really sad, but I can't imagine how different all our lives would be without it.
My blog is nearly 4 years old now. Can you believe that? I've never been someone who sticks to hobbies very easily. I'm not very good at sport, I can't play any musical instruments and I'm far too introverted for anything like drama or dance. With blogging though, I've finally found my hobby.
It combines my life long love of writing, my passion for expressing myself though fashion and beauty and my enjoyment of creative pursuits like photography. It also helps me to nurture important life skills like setting yourself deadlines, doing things alone (like going to blogging events) and forcing yourself out of your comfort zone.
By its truest definition, I guess you could say I've been a feminist since my early teens but it wasn't til I discovered Tumblr (and subsequently a number of other feminist resources online) that I really became actively involved and began to openly identify as a feminist. I obviously knew about gender inequality my whole life but like so many, I was wary of the word 'feminism'.
The Internet has taught me that it's something to embrace rather than shy away from and I've learned so much about feminist issues (those that directly affect me and that don't) that I'd never have known about via mainstream media. 10 years ago, I didn't know what intersectionality is, about rape culture, about FGM or body positivity and sadly, a lot of my peers still don't. The feminist pages I visit, follow and subscribe to keep my mind questioning and open to a huge range of issues that I now can't imagine not knowing and being passionate about.
As well as my blog, the Internet provides me with loads of opportunities. Don't get me wrong, I work hard but I've gotten jobs, internships and freelance writing and styling work via the Internet which I'd never have even known about without it. God bless you LinkedIn and Gumtree!
A Wealth Of Knowledge & Entertainment
It seems obscene to me that in past years before the Internet, there was no Shazam to identify that song from that advert, no Netflix for endless TV & film entertainment, no Wikipedia to find out pointless facts and no IMDB to scratch that "what else have I seen him in?" itch. On top of that, any university work I ever did or piece I've ever written would've been massively different without the Internet. I know my generation is very spoiled for choice and often we face an information overload but the thought of finding out about anything without the use of the World Wide Web seems insane to me!
Thanks to the Internet, I have made, and kept up with a whole host of amazing people.
From my blogging friends that I speak to every day are always just a tweet away to provide advice and support or just a chat or a laugh, to old friends who I've reconnected with on Facebook, or co-workers from jobs from my teens which I still keep up with and see regularly thanks to our Facebook group chats. A lot of older generations would say the Internet and technology devalues genuine relationships and takes away from real social experiences but that couldn't be further from my experience.