How the Internet has positively impacted today's youth comment

 The Internet has no doubt revolutionized the lives of every man, woman and child since its advent in the 1980's. With increasingly growing popularity, the Internet has easily claimed a vital part of every household. The Internet has long endured accusations for a certain drawbacks that humanity has endured from its usage. Despite the highly subjective nature of the topic, there is an ongoing debate about whether the good outweigh the bad. Boon or a bane, the Internet has witnessed a larger impact in the youths of today. While there is a downside to the Internet as there is in almost every man-made thing, it is good to acknowledge the good that the Internet has brought to our younger generation; our potential assets of the future.

 It is first worthy to note that Internet access has placed knowledge at a greater disposal to our younger generation. In today's world, education can be considered the most unfair advantage a person can have. There has henceforth been a large number of educational websites mushrooming around the Internet with hopes to educate the general public and very especially, our younger people. There are a great number of websites like Khan Academy, Stanford Online, Edx, Codecademy and Coursera which are dedicated to offering education at free of charge. Moreover, for those who wish to take their learning game a level further, there are paid alternatives like Udemy, Treehouse and Skillshare which offer a more interactive classroom-like experience, albeit with a low membership price. Judging from personal experience, online courses that I have taken have proved to be more of a complimentary supplement to traditional classroom learning, and not much a means to replace classroom learning although that can be the case in some instances like distance education in certain university programs. Put concisely, it can safely be said that the Internet has routed many paths to nurture the literacy rate among youngsters.

Living in the e-commerce era, the youngsters of today are no exception from generating a revenue of their own. Social platforms like Instagram, Facebook and YouTube have proved to be effective tools in engaging and building an audience in addition to aiding in promotion and publicity of goods and service. From personal recount, I have seen a number of young girls who had turned to Facebook and Instagram to promote and endorse various products, most of which fall under the cosmetics category. This could be a cheap and convenient way to earn some side income, provided they have a large follower base. And then there is another acquaintance in my following list who uses her Instagram account to push in posts into her followers' feeds about pre-loved items that she's ready to part with. These are only a few examples that I could name from my own recount but we can see all around us how youths are stepping up their game in generating a revenue through online means; from Vlogging via YouTube to selling products through making use of Facebook and Instagram.

With an increasingly fast-paced world, there's a growing need for convenient means to stay connected with one another and the digital world is precisely doing just that, working its way to making the world we live in a "borderless" place. The revolutionary breakthrough that social media has brought about since its advent have paved the path for our younger generation to stay more connected. This change has also made possible for them to network and thus exchange valuable information with one another. Take for example online forums and Q&A websites like Stack Exchange and Quora where our young, curious and budding youths can have their doubts about a certain topic clarified through their peers, or any experienced person in the topic at hand. I like to call this 'casually networking'. In addition, although the traditional pen palling is now termed obsolete by many, it has not completely gone off the facet of our human lives. In fact it is not a surprise that there has been a modern variation to traditional pen palling, in that emails are sent instead of posting mails. There has been a great number of young people who have taken interest on online pen palling as seen roughly from the demographics in a popular pen pal website, InterPals Penpals. There is also a website named PenPal Schools that connects students from across the globe, to exchange and learn about a new culture, or even learn a new language through a native speaker.

There is therefore a great deal of benefits that the Internet can take account for. If the young people of today can utilize the core power of the Internet for a greater purpose, the Internet can be one of the many ways they could realize their ambitions or even contribute to a common good. If utilized wisely, the Internet could also prove to be a powerful tool in fostering meaningful relationships to educating the minds of the younger generation and possibly changing lives for the better which could have otherwise been more challenging without the Internet.

P.S:/ I know this is a little late. I had pledged to write an essay a week initially but my schedule proved to be too rigid. I had written the first half of this essay a week ago and promised to publish it but then again, due to time constraints, I never had the flexibility to resume it. I am glad to say however that this is my first piece of essay that is over 800 words! Huzzah! Looking forward to producing more lengthy pieces like this.

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The dark side of love comment

I was on my usual detour through my Quora feed and came across this post by Katie Birtles. I find this post very poignant and beautifully written. Here's the excerpt:

What is the dark side of falling in love?

A child who has stopped asking for his mother to tuck him into bed at night.
One day they will no longer need you
A teenager who buries his beloved dog, a faithful constant who grew up beside him.
When you don’t want to go, but you must leave.

A young woman who falls out with her high school best friend, grieving the void that is left.
Even the strongest bonds can crumble.

A man who aches as the one he loves runs away with another, leaving him to wonder where he went wrong.
The cutting, barbed pain of rejection, insecurity, humiliation and unfulfilled dreams.

Or the cornered lover who must admit she is no longer in love with the one she never wanted to hurt.
The unrelenting guilt and regret that eats away at you.

An elderly couple who must watch each other deteriorate through the years, eventually forced apart by Death.
Unavoidable, cruel, inevitable, callous loss.

The dark side of falling in love is that, in one way or another, it will break your heart.
To love is to suffer.

- Katie Birtles


An essay a week comment

Hi fellow bloggers! I was doing my routine blogwalking and happened to stumble across this blog by Rosa Lyster. Rosa writes an essay every week on just about any topic that crosses her mind. I thought this was rather a good idea to keep one's writing habits rolling and gaining momentum each time. With a routine such as this, you can become unstoppable upon reaching a point where writing becomes a habit. 

Personally, writing apart from drawing has been a pastime that is very close to my heart. Writing in all its forms, be it essays, blog posts, poetry or short stories is a very effective way of conveying not only one's masked emotions and inner musings, but also to unleash the author and creative duo that is in a person. And for me, being a social awkward, I have found my calling with writing and the creative arts.

Essay writing may appear daunting to some people as they often associate essay writing with a rich knowledge base. To break it down, there are 4 types of essays namely narrative essays, descriptive essays, expository essays, and lastly persuasive essays. While expository and persuasive essays might indeed need a bit of knowledge in the topic at hand, it is really just a conduit for one to get to know better the topic of interest and to form stronger opinions. On the other hand, descriptive and narrative essays depend largely on experience and a splash of creative muse.

I decided to do a weekly essay challenge for myself with topics from here or any essay topic I can come up with. For those interested in joining this weekly self-challenge of essay writing, feel free to grab the banner/logo below and write an intro post. You can write about what you think about writing as a pastime, about what you wish to gain from this self-challenge or you could even reblog this post if you wish to 😁.

The rules are simple:
  • Word count is no lesser than 100 words
  • Language used is English
  • Write at least one essay per week
  • Tag friends!

Here are few topics you could begin with:
  • Do TV shows and movies have the responsibility of being more diverse?
  • Should students be allowed to use phones in elementary and high schools?
  • What effect did human curiosity have in relation to our planet?
  • Tell about morality problems that bother you and why.

Go ahead and give it a try, put your creative mind and linguistic abilities to the test! I can't guarantee you that you'll be the next person to win an essay writing competition but I can assure you that your writing skills can improve by leaps and bounds if you're sure to maintain a habit. 

Sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a
character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.
G. D. Boardman

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Things I regret not having done back in my schooling days comment

Back in my schooling days, I was one of the  majority of students who placed substantial priority on academics over anything else, say, extra-curricular activities, sports, hobbies, etc. I was so focused on attaining not just good grades but I was also maybe a little too swept in the notion of being the class-topper. I was active in taking mental notes of which classmate was my competitor each time. My eyes had nothing but the pages of my textbooks to roam about. I never bothered making friends, never cared to join any society, and not even try and enjoy the bus rides to and fro school.

While I did genuinely enjoy studying, I believe I had missed a lot of things whilst getting unhealthily drenched in just books all day. I was not living in the moment. While other students had friendly gatherings and outings to look forward to during school breaks and very especially after SPM, I was just a lonely fret scrolling through their happy pictures in my feed. Back then I tried to justify my doings through labeling myself as an introvert. Well, sure enough, that label didn't hold for me for very long. I soon begin to realize that I had not improved in areas concerning people skills, such as my communication skills and worst yet, I had nothing to brag about my participation and achievements in extra-curricular activities, which was[unluckily for me] the very essence in every scholarship application that I had tried and applied for. 

While I did get the good grades which I had yearned for, it soon dawned on me that grades are not all there is to measure a student's aptness. Having come from a financially challenged background, I had always desired to obtain a scholarship that would sponsor my studies in university. I scoured the internet and newspapers day and night to find relevant scholarship applications and through sweat and toil, typed in all the best words I could put together in my scholarship essays. But as luck would have it, other more deserving (and less deserving) students were shortlisted except for me. While I did get through some of the preliminary stages, unfortunately, I never made it pass through any of the interviews I had attended. All my academic certificates and transcripts proved to not be of much use, especially if I was lacking in soft skills and extra-curricular participation. I tried to rely on self-pity but not even my financial circumstances mattered to the scholarship providers. No one gives you something for nothing.😔

Hence, I missed a good one year of pre-U studies without any form of scholarship. For a while during that period of time, I kept the notion of scholarships from busying my mind but still chose to focus on getting good grades, except I was more self-aware and people-conscious this time. I tried to work on my anxiety in facing an audience during presentations, integrated more with my teammates in group works and started participating in several clubs and societies. As my final semester in pre-U drew near, I started working on preparations for scholarship interviews and what not. Through several more rejections, I finally landed on a fertile soil and was secured a scholarship with Yayasan Telekom Malaysia to pursue my undergraduate studies. 😌💗 #blessed

I might have learned things the hard way but it was all truly an eye-opening and fulfilling experience in the end. I am still learning and improving my soft-skills and I believe active participation and contribution in extracurricular activities have been just the right conduit for that. Apart from studies, I have also made it a point to develop my assets in various areas such as writing, designing and coding that could prove to be beneficial for me along the long run.

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