An address to adolescents about the internet and blogging.
Imagine this. The holidays are almost done and the next school term is one week away. You wish you had more weeks to stay home. You are a boarding student. You pick a notebook and a pen whose ink has sunk into its tip. You write an exhaustive list of all requirements you’ll need for that term. You jot down the scholastic materials, toiletries, snacks, sometimes clothing. You go over the list thrice to be sure you haven’t left anything out.
Your parents or guardians are sitting in the living room munching on roasted groundnuts as your little brother watches Ben 10 on TV. You walk to them and hand your shopping list to your mother because she’s the softer one to deal with. Your dad lifts his and smiles.
Raise your hand if you don’t like making those shopping lists hoping your parents will just give you a wild amount of money and let you go splash it on anything? Ah, I see most of you have your hands raised.
I can relate. I didn’t like making those lists. Can’t mum just think of the things I need for school and give me the money? I’d always think. Shopping lists are a stress factor when you’re a student in high school. You’ll understand the importance of this as you grow.
So you’re now ready to go shopping.
You go the largest one-stop shopping center in your area, a big supermarket. At the entrance of the supermarket is a massive sign. “You’ll Get Everything You Want In Here,” reads the sign. You step in, pull a trolley and start picking what’s on your school list from the different sections of this massive store.
That’s what the internet is like. It’s an unimaginable superstore with an inconceivable amount of information from around the world. You’ll get all sorts of stuff on it. Some of you probably already know this. Good things, bad things. Happy stories, sad stories. People celebrating, others trolling. People cheering on trolls. Trolls are monsters, beasts that find delight in bringing others down and making them feel useless on the internet.
How would you feel if someone made fun of you or abused you because they want to gratify their selfish desires? I’d feel deflated. I’d be hurt. My confidence would fly out the window. I’d be scared. How would you feel?
Trolls are bullies on the internet. Don’t be one of them. Don’t feed them. Don’t cheer them on. Be a good person both online and offline. If you have to criticize someone for something they’ve said or done, do it respectfully and not in a way that’ll pull them down. And like Ellen DeGeneres says, “Be kind to one another.” Who here knows Ellen?
Just like that big supermarket with different sections for various items, the internet also has those “sections” or platforms you can use for whatever you’d like. Blogging is one of those things you can do on the internet.
Blogging allows you to share your thoughts, stories, and opinions with the world. If you ever consider becoming a blogger, do it to share knowledge, to entertain the right way, to inspire, to advocate for things you believe in. Do it to celebrate others, tell people about the things you do. Give advice when you can. Share tips on a topic you’re comfortable in. Do reviews on anything. If you’re not happy with a service provider, call them out in a fair and balanced way. Don’t let your platform be one that drags other people’s businesses and lives through the mud. If you have facts, present them. Be funny if you can. And have an amazing time as you run your blog.
Oh, I guess we should go back to completing our shopping.