My internet story

The internet is a funny thing, but I think I’m just about getting my head around it.

From being picked on at school to hitting 50k followers on Twitter, I’ve had my ups and downs with using the internet, but wouldn’t change a thing.

As a kid with a mother who hated technology, I was the last of my friends to get a computer in my home, and at the age of 14, I was just about learning where letters were on a keyboard at school. I remember awkwardly asking my friend Laura where particular letters were on the keyboard after searching for so long I became certain some letters genuinely were missing from my keyboard. It was that bad.

When I was 15, I did what all the cool kids did… and joined a computer programming club. In hindsight, it didn’t do much in terms of street cred, but I loved making my own games and playing around with coding.

At the time, MySpace was the ultimate social media tool. It had everything one could ever wish for, from different backgrounds to strange fonts.

This is where it gets even better. I joined forces with a couple of guys in my year, and we soon became the incredible band “Phoenix of the Revolution”. Aside from the name, we had two electric guitars and a drummer, and we were alright. Our MySpace page got quite a following before we split up in year 9. It was a bad year for the band…

Then I set myself a mission to get better at the guitar. I recorded myself playing the guitar and singing and put it on YouTube. I enjoyed getting feedback from strangers and knowing that it wouldn’t matter if I wasn’t too great at this point. I was ok at the guitar, but the singing really wasn’t great. This was when a bunch of kids in my maths class found my videos… while I was sitting in the middle of a lesson. From this point on, school wasn’t too much fun. Traumatised, I disappeared from every type of social media.

A few years later, and a little more careful about what I put online, I continued to make covers of songs on YouTube and got some great feedback and followers.

My Twitter account which I had made back in 2008 began to see more Tweeting and I quickly became fascinated with which tweets gathered more interaction.

Between then and now, I’ve been using my own Twitter as an experiment for what does and does not work so well, filling my timeline with content I love to read, and now using this website to post all my thoughts.

It’s been one brilliant rollercoaster, but this is what I’ve learnt from my time so far online:

  • People online are your biggest critics. There will always be lovely, and horrible feedback but all you can do is do what you enjoy and select what you want to take from it.
  • Never post anything online you don’t want anybody and everybody seeing. It’ll always be seen eventually, especially if it’s rubbish singing.
  • Enjoy it. We’re in a position where we can share our ideas and content with people throughout the world. And that’s incredible.

 

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