We’re young, we’re free, we’re spontaneous, and we have access to Wi-Fi. I’m 15 years old, and I feel so lucky to be alive in a generation where social media makes it possible for people like me to influence others and get our voices out there more than ever before.
Whenever I’m online, I see teenagers posting incredibly intelligent things on Tumblr and Instagram regarding current social issues. To me, this is proof that we’re more than just “Internet-addicted.” We may be young, but we’re not necessarily young-minded. Every day, I hear my peers talking about things you would have thought only adults would care about.
Some people may say, “If you have something to say, go ahead and say it.” I wish it could be that easy, but the numbers always discourage me. I have a whopping 86 subscribers (and counting) on YouTube and fewer than 400 followers on Instagram and Twitter, and sometimes I think, “Does anyone who follows me actually care?” and “Will anyone see this to begin with?” But in the end, I try to not let these things get to me.
I love making short films and videos to upload onto YouTube. While I always try to stay committed, why are content creators with smaller audiences sometimes not taken seriously? Is it just because we don’t get a ton of views? Whenever I do upload or post something online, I sometimes wonder, “Is it worth putting hours of my time into making these videos just to get 29 views on them?”
To anyone else pondering this same question: Don’t stop yourself from expressing yourself. The issues and topics you care about and have an opinion on should be heard. Your voice matters, what you believe in matters, and what you say matters. The fear of not getting noticed should be put behind us. We all have voices. Whether you have 1 million followers or 10, never stop yourself from expressing what’s important to you. We can help influence members of our generation all over the world with a statement made on the Internet, and to me, that is mind-blowing.
Both famous and anonymous Internet creators have the ability to use their craft to create something bigger than a simple vlog. Popular YouTube users like Anthony Quintal (Lohanthony), Andrea Russett, and Lilly Singh (iiSuperwomanii) have all made videos online showcasing their humorous side, but they also then have the ability to make videos that call attention to social issues and charities.
Teens of today, we have the ability to use social media and the Internet for good. We are able to positively influence others with the content we post online, and that is honestly what is so cool about being a teenager in 2016.
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