The Need of Internet

I don’t need the Internet anymore.

Now there are a couple things in this sentence you could confront me on, first, need – who needs the Internet? But also anymore – so I did need it then? And what changed?

I’m reading a book for my Media and Society class right now called The Digital Invasion: How Technology is Shaping You and Your Relationships and it’s sort of freaking me out a tad but I think I’m also learning lots. It talks about Internet addiction and how it affects our brains and how we function and how it changes our relationships (for better and for worse, it’s not a doomsday book, they acknowledge that there are benefits!) but it’s making me consider how much I use the Internet and social media and why.

I began using the Internet more and more starting from around age seventeen. A friend introduced me to the vlogger (video-blogger) side of Youtube and within a few months I was vlogging myself. At this time I was in grade twelve and slowly giving into minor depression as I grew increasingly afraid of my unknown future and saw my friends all drifting into the great unknown. I felt that I was losing my friends, didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, didn’t like my part time job at a grocery store post-grad (I would “entertain” myself by seeing how far into a shift I could get without talking to someone. I clearly wasn’t a cashier!) and wasn’t pushing into God and building my faith thus allowing that to drift away too. I was lonely.

And the Internet, oh the Internet! The Internet helped me find friends, find friends fast and who had common interests and fun hobbies. I had Facebook, and now Youtube, next was Twitter and Tumblr, more and more ways to connect with my new friends. Now I’m not bashing this because it actually served a purpose in where I was at because as I somewhat dissolved into “living in” the Internet, it also helped bring me back out. I went to a convention in California, meeting friends I’d only previously known online. I’ve since gone on a second trip to DisneyWorld with them. I began organizing meet ups in Winnipeg a couple times a year for other people who were fans of some of the same Youtubers as I was.

"Nerdfighter" meet-up 2012

“Winnipeg Nerdfighter” meet-up 2012

"Nerdfighter" meet-up 2013

“Winnipeg Nerdfighter” meet-up 2013

The Internet sucked me in, yes. I became too reliant on it, yes. But it also helped me grow, a lot. I planned my portion of two trips out of the country and then travelled there alone. I organized meet-ups with people I’d never met before and spent time getting to know them. As I found solace online I began to gain more confidence in my real life outside of the Internet. I made friends with coworkers, I reconnected with high school friends, I figured out what I wanted to do with my life. As I gained a few subscribers on Youtube I began to value my voice and think about what I was saying more and through vlogging I actually developed an interest and some practical skill in video making, an aspect of what I hope my future career will involve.

Lately the Internet hasn’t been very fulfilling though. It’s no longer serving the purpose it once did and I think perhaps I’ve outgrown it. It’s not that I don’t value the friendships I made while regularly vlogging or even regularly watching Youtube videos – I do, very much, I would consider many of them to now be friends, but I no longer solely need the Internet to feel that I am connecting with people and being heard. I begin to find it tiresome, Internet connections cannot interact the same way as people in real life. I have friends and hobbies and goals and a life that extends past the limitations of my laptop and my wifi. I can appreciate the ability to stay connected using social media and the like, but I prefer to see friends in person and actually go out and to things and build relationships in that sense. And that’s a big change for me. There was a time when I would Facebook message you instead of trying to get together in person. Now, well… now I’ll do both 😉

I suppose over the last five years I’ve been able to mature and get to know myself better. I’ve experienced life online, and it’s fun for a time and serves its purpose, but I’ve discovered it’s crucially important to maintain a solid foundation in the real world. To be able connect with people in person is something that cannot be replaced and it is only through the challenges and bumps that we face along the road that we can grow, and those are rarely found within the safe walls we build up for ourselves online. Online is a place to hide from challenges and bumps, however, in the sage words of The Sound of Music‘s Reverend Mother, “These walls were not built to shut out problems. You have to face them. You have to live the life you were born to live.”

-B

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Long Story Short

Hello, long time no post. How’ve you been? Yeah? Cool/That’s great/Sorry to hear that/Really?

I’ve been good. I mean today wasn’t the best morning but generally I’ve been good, really.

I haven’t posted a personal post on this blog since September 13 when I explained that I would be using this blog for a school project for the semester. I did that and then kind of ditched, sorry! Guess I got blogged out. But really what that means is you know nothing about how my junior year of university is going! Here’s the cliffsnotes version from September to now:

  • I’m doing a lot more major-specific courses at university this year and it’s really fun! I like my major, yayyyy! I started practicum in January, I’m working with the communications and media department at my university so that’s fun! Also really convenient because I commute out to school which takes up a good two hours of driving each day, so doing my practicum at school means I can use my long spares for something productive and I don’t have to do yet another thing on top of homework when I finally make it home at the end of the day!
  • I have a boyfriend. His name is Ryan, I like him lots and we’ve been dating for five months. I don’t know what else to say about this, umm ask questions if you want…?
    Haha okay so here’s the deal, I never know how to talk about relationship stuff and its not because I want to keep it quiet or anything I just don’t want to overshare or seem like I’m boasting in the wonderfulness that is our relationship (which I could do, really!). I’m more than happy to answer questions if you care but don’t expect me to volunteer much unprompted!
Internet, meet Ryan.

And now for your formal introduction, Internet, meet Ryan.

  • I really want to work at DisneyWorld. Haha alright so this isn’t really new, this has been years in the making, but this past spring I applied for the Disney Cultural Exchange program which would have meant I would have been working at Disney World, FL for three months over the summer. I got an interview but would have had to fly out to Toronto for a forty-five minute meeting which I just couldn’t do as a somewhat broke college student. So alas my dreams of working at Disney have been dashed for now but who knows… after all, Winnipeg has a Disney Store!
IMG_7659

See, Disney means hanging out with friends! Disney is a happy place to be!

  • My mum has officially had her new kidney for over a year! Some of you may remember last January when my mum had a kidney transplant due to kidney failure. January 8th was the one-year anniversary of that surgery and everything continues to go swimmingly! The kidney took really well and she’s got more energy and is able to sleep better and eat more and all sorts of things! It’s really nice =)
  • I have managed to keep Rory the fish alive for a year and four months. He’s still swimming folks! That means he has survived me for ten months longer than any of my past fish did… Good job Rory.

So there my update for ya and for future me who may just be narcissistic enough to come back and read these one day… I probably won’t be posted regularly on here because school is craaaaazy and life’s busy but I’ll try my best to pop by! In the meantime, if you’re just dying to keep up with all my comings and goings, feel free to follow me on Twitter (@rlpbeckleston) or Instagram (@rlpdean). I’m around there pretty often!

It’s nice to be back =) Hope all your present endeavors are going well! Talk to ya later!
-B

Dealing with an Over-Spent Introvert

This world is an extrovert’s world. We are encouraged to socialize, to party, to go for coffee, to attend school, to work. It seems that almost constantly we are being encouraged to be around people, but not all people are designed to live that way.

People often look at extroverts as being outgoing, friendly, and social, while introverts are looked at as shy, antisocial, and awkward. It’s not quite that simple. In reality, extroverts are simply those who are energized by being with people, while introverts find themselves drained spending time with people. An extrovert is tired out by staying home alone, they want to be “doing”! An introvert needs that recharge time alone or else they burn out, and that is not an option that’s always given to people.

Many students work at least one job while attending school full time. They have work, school, friends, family, homework, and regular life-tasks to deal with. For an extrovert this can be tiring but invigorating. For an introvert this can equate complete burn out.

I am an introvert, a relatively social introvert, but an introvert. I am quite happy to chat with people, to hang out with friends, and to speak up in class, but if I have to go straight into doing something else without some time to recharge I frequently find myself plagued by headaches as I grow crankier and more antisocial. As my stream of social energy is rapidly depleted I recoil into myself like a wounded animal, striking out at those who attempt contact.

Extroverts rarely seem to understand this feeling and can often make things worse by trying to “talk it out”. Here are some tips for when dealing with your dried up Introvert:

  1. Talk as little as possible. Your Introvert doesn’t have much energy to listen right now. This may sound silly, but it’s true. Listening can take a lot of energy that simply isn’t there to use.
  2. Gently check when the last time your Introvert ate or drank was. They may be dehydrated or hangry (hungry-angry) as well as over-spent. Grab them some water or a snack and leave them to it.
  3. Leave them alone. Seriously, just do number 2 and leave. Your Introvert is not angry at you, they’re not needing help or counselling, they just need some time. Wait for them to come back to you because they will. They’ll sheepishly slink back over in half an hour or so, after an episode of T.V. or a chapter of their book, or they’ll bounce back into the room after a nap as if nothing ever happened. This is okay, this is normal. This is dealing with an Introvert.
  4. The most important thing about dealing with your Introvert is, don’t try to make them become an extrovert. They can’t, this is how their mind works, and that is alright. If they’re drawing back from a group chat, let them go. They may just need to listen from the sidelines and gather their strength for the next round. Let them take their time outs, let them have their quiet car rides when they need them.

As an Extrovert, you don’t have to necessarily have to fully understand your Introvert’s perspective, but with a little bit of consideration, you can help.

For more help in understanding your Introvert, check out Dr. Carmella’s Guide to Understanding the Introverted! (It has pictures!)

The Cataclysmic Commuter Competition

Today I hung out with school friends outside of school. I feel like this means I officially have school friends now. We had a commuters board game party at someones house and, as the title of the party would suggest, played lots of board games! and card games… and video games… Mostly just games! Technically it was called the The Cataclysmic Commuter Competition but it wasn’t reaaaaaally a competition, I mean there was no overall winner.

I got creamed in Catan – it’s been a while since I played – but it was really fun hanging out with everyone outside of school and just getting to chill =D

And I’m actually glad I went! I’m not really a big partier normally, I don’t like hanging out in large groups, it’s a little out of my comfort zone, and especially after a long day! (I had had church all morning and then worked all afternoon and then came straight to the party, wasn’t home at all). I often use that as an excuse not to hang out with people because, as an introvert, I find it often is very draining, however that’s not a good excuse and I figured, hey, this doesn’t happen very often, I need to put myself out there, stretch myself a bit! And it was very fun, 10/10, would recommend, would do again ;D

-B

DIDNEY WORL?

Well today I came home from work with a headache (not an uncommon occurrence unfortunately) and accidentally napped for an hour. Waking up I ate a couple soda crackers to settle my stomach and nursed a water bottle while finishing memorizing my script.

Also, some friends may be heading to Disney in May and I’m gonna try and see if I can afford to go too because DIDNEY WORL!!

The script is (I think) memorized. Guess I’ll find out tomorrow, but I’ve gone through it this evening and it went well. The headaches drifting off but I think going to bed early (now) will help finish it off.

SO tomorrow will be a beautifully massively long day, but in May, maybe…

-B