Now that I’ve made my ebook “Who Cares? Life for an Irish Transgender Teen” free to the public (you can download the full thing here), I’ve decided to publish the chapters here on my website. Below is a chapter from this book which was published in April 2016.
I’ve been born into an odd generation. We’re all familiar with the technological advances and the social networking and blah blah blah. I feel like this chapter is going to make an awful lot of older people roll their eyes. I don’t care. I love my generation. I love them. I think they’re wonderful and I think they get an unjust, cruel treatment. When I was younger I played outside and did all of that stuff. I had fun with my friends and played lots of imaginary games. I watched a lot of TV and I played computer games too. When I was in primary school I joined Facebook along with a lot of my peers. I went on to join Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Tumblr. My favourite is Snapchat. I’m a weirdo who loves to post what they’re doing and see what everyone else is doing too.
I hang out with my friends and our phones are a big part of our communication. Get over it. We use our phones to show each other pictures, videos, articles and messages. Get over it. We take pictures of our coffees and our lunches and set them as our Snapchat story. Get over it. This does not make us antisocial.
In my opinion adults don’t try hard enough to relate to teenagers. Instead they criticise their use of technology. Adults who spend their days on Facebook, turn around and criticise a teenager for being on Instagram. Leave us alone. I’m sure there were things that your generation did that the generation above disapproved of. Communication hasn’t been ruined. It’s just changed. We haven’t lost our ability to speak to one another. It’s just that some conversations take place from behind a screen. Who cares?
I can sit in my room and find out about injustices all over the world. I can be knowledgeable about so much more than my own small world because of the internet. I can watch funny videos to cheer me up or watch sad videos to relate to, when I’m down. I can form educated opinions on anything from war to the clothing regulations in American schools. I like the Kardashians. I think they’re funny and I enjoy watching their world. I can leave my own world when it is no longer satisfying me and instead I can immerse myself in a whole other one. I can write and share it with those around me. I can be there for my friends when they need me at any time throughout the day. I can pick up my phone when I’m feeling lonely and realise that I am not alone.
There are ugly sides to the technological advances that have taken place but there are ugly sides to everything. There are bad people on the internet but there are bad people everywhere. Stop trying to take this generation away from us. Stop fearing the momentous changes that are taking place because of technology. Stop resisting technology and embrace it instead. Don’t criticise your teenager for being on the internet. Instead ask them what they’ve learned on the internet recently. Ask them have they read any interesting articles or have they started any projects on the internet. You would be surprised. I don’t think we’re any better than other generations were. I think every generation has its merits and its drawbacks. I think every generation is different from the other. I just think that our generation have moved quite fast. Maybe I’m wrong. What I’m mainly saying is that we aren’t that bad. Don’t take the easy option of criticising us. It’s unnecessary and stupid.
Read more Who Cares? here.
Buy Who Cares? here.
Listen to my interview with blogger Ciara O’Doherty below: