Internet Takeover

The fact that I’m a kid with a laptop in the twenty first century means that it’s normal for me to be interested in the colourful annual carnival that is the Teen Choice Awards.

Now, for those of you who are above nineteen years and/or actually have a life, the TCAs are basically the youth’s answer to the Oscars. Except it’s not limited to the acting industry. And that the winners are decided purely on the number of public votes they collect. And that the trophy is not a sleek, shimmering silhouette; it’s a five-foot tall surfboard [so I guess not so much like the Oscars after all].

This year’s TCAs just wrapped up and because of a multitude of reasons, I couldn’t catch it live on the telly. I wasn’t going to stay deprived for long, though, and so the day after it aired, I was scouring Google for answers; how did it go?? Who took home the most surfboards?? WHO WON CHOICE SOCIAL MEDIA QUEEN?!

As I scrolled down page after page of search results, a name that kept popping up as one of the night’s big winners was “Lilly Singh.”

If you don’t know what the TCAs are, chances are you don’t know who Lilly Singh is, so let me bring you up-to speed; Lilly is a YouTuber, a professional who makes a living through filming five-minute long videos and posting it on YouTube, a video-sharing website.

If it’s a bit of a shock to you that putting together a couple of minutes of footage twice a week can rake in enough bucks to have a roof over your head, let me assure you that Lilly –and her colleagues- are doing much, much more than earning their daily bread.

From writing books with staggering first-week sales to performing on sold-out world tours to releasing bestselling documentaries, YouTubers are a new breed of businessmen and women, hungry to break through social barriers and keen to have a blast while doing it.

The very idea that you can forge a successful career through making videos with your computer’s webcam is by itself a novel one and if you add the influence and the fame that comes with it, there’s no reason why YouTubers shouldn’t be every bit as powerful as they are today.

In fact, it’s gradually boiling up to the point where it’s beginning to seem like YouTube really is taking over the world.

From appearing on global talk shows to having their faces plastered on billboards all over, YouTubers are reinventing celebrity. They’re real and accessible, yet strutting down red carpets every Friday night.

Having a million subscribers is no longer a big deal, having a billion total views is now the norm.

Their numbers are continuously surging, their reach is constantly growing.

Honestly, I’d be surprised if YouTube didn’t take over in the next couple of years.

But for the time being, let’s sit back and toast to Lilly Singh’s big night; may there be many more Teen Choice Awards to come [and, hey, maybe even an Oscar or two].

The Story of My Epic Summer #Fail

I’m going to be honest with you; since my summer break began on 1st May, I haven’t done an ounce of work.

Not one.

And it’s surprising that I actually feel guilty about this because I used to firmly believe that vacations from school were the perfect time to be disgustingly lazy.

That isn’t to say that my opinion is any different now; I still think that when a holiday eventually rolls around, you should bask in the golden freedom of not having to do anything and just chill out.

However, seeing as how this is the summer before I officially enter the tenth grade [gulp], all of my classmates had decided to forsake their last carefree summer in order to study and be better prepared for when school starts in June.

At first, I scoffed. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I did. I thought that they were taking things WAY too seriously and that our measly syllabus could easily be crammed the night before the exam [my usual mode of preparation].

However, as my friends continued to jabber about giving up their school break for the noble cause of enriching their education, it occurred to me that maybe I was the dumb one.

Maybe I it’s time I sobered up and started spending my summers productively, I remember thinking. Maybe it’s time to start waking up before 04:00 pm and maybe it’s time to start thinking twice before I serve myself a SEVENTH HELPING at the dinner table. Wait, what was I thinking about? Oh, right, school. Summer. Studying. Groan.

And that’s when I decided that I was not going sleep away another summer. I was going to get started on the semester’s curriculum, score myself an internship [I hear they look real good on college applications] and have a total blast while achieving my goals at the same time. I was going to work and play and work again and play again and I was NOT going to eat more than five bowls of cereal with milk in one sitting [wait, what?].

So when the first day of summer rolled around, I was READY. With a brand new notepad in one hand and a pouch filled with stationery in the other, I was prepared to seriously kick butt.

A surge of confidence coursing through my body, I opened up the book and scrawled out a neat “My Summer Study Plan” –with a double underline- at the top of the first page. Dutifully, I filled in the date and the page number and underlined them twice, too.

Then, I wrote in the dates of all the days in the month and added a cute little hyphen next to them.

By this point, I’d spent at LEAST three whole minutes furiously writing and I needed a break. Just a short breather to regain my focus, I told myself as I skipped out of my room to grab a bite to eat.

Seven plates of raw mango later, I was forced to admit to myself that I wasn’t going back to work –not today, at least.

Hey, this is your FIRST DAY. Give yourself a break. I mean, you DID complete the entire outline of the plan I internally reasoned with myself. Take the rest of the day off, but remember that it’s back to the grind tomorrow.

Didn’t happen.

It’s been close to four weeks since that first half-hearted attempt to write out a schedule and my great study plan is still exactly the way it was before I decided to hog on unripe fruit.

Why?

The internet, that’s why.

To be fair, I am such an ace procrastinator that I would’ve thought of some reason or the other to ditch my work, but the Internet made it too easy.

YouTube, Tumblr, Wattpad, Twitter [heck, even Wikipedia]… I had enough and more ways to waste my time and I grabbed it with open arms.

In the last twenty five days, I’ve watched more YouTube videos than I have muscles in my body. I’ve read more Fanfiction than a literature major has read Hemingway. I’ve skimmed through more Tweets than most birds have chirped in their entire lifetime. I’ve- you get the idea, right?

And you want to know the worst part?

At the end of all these intense binging sessions, I was left with a frustrated, hollow pit in my stomach. Sure, I more than enjoy the internet sessions while they last, but when they’re over and I’m left alone with my thoughts, I am NOT amused.

Now, if you’re one of those kids who has obediently opened your textbooks every day and actually read them, I applaud you. [I also want to murder you, but let’s not drone on that]

However, if you’re anything like me and feel like you could’ve done a lot more over the past couple of weeks, here’s what I have to say to you;

It isn’t over yet. There’s still more than a week of glorious freedom left before we’re thrust into the land of pop quizzes and PowerPoint presentations so let’s give it our best shot.

No, I don’t mean mugging science formulae till your eyes burn but making the most of the fact that this is your holiday and you deserve it. So I want you to promise me that you’re going to have fun. Indulge yourself by doing what you love most, be it poring through the classics or opening up food stalls with your sister so you can rake in some extra cash.

Be passionate and be free. Live each moment like your entire life boils down to it and don’t be afraid to try something new. You think you might enjoy making short films and uploading them for the world to see? Go for it [just make sure that you don’t spend the next three hours stalking Robbie Williams on Facebook]. You want to try your hand at baking a Madeira cake? Just do it.

This is the time to spread those wings and truly explore your potential. A LOT can happen in one week, so make it your best one.

P.S – A thousand apologies for all the corny I’ve managed to slip into one blog post! It won’t be this cheesy next time, I promise!

#SELFIE

Look at all the glam selfies

Posted on your BFFs wall,

Hey, when did she meet ABE LINCOLN??

And WHEN did she get SO tall?!

Wow, look at how trim her tummy looks

All hard-core and super slick

It’s funny, though, it looked NOTHING like that

When I saw her take this pic!!

“Maybe she altered her photo a bit,

A smidge here and one there,”

The haunting thought flits through your head,

I mean, LOOK at the GORGEOUS hair!!

No way, she CAN’T have photoshopped,

That just ISN’T her thing!!

But it would explain her weight loss from LAST NIGHT

And all that glamorous bling…

Maybe, just MAYBE,

She’s caught the SelfieBug,

Maybe she’s now into azure filters,

And all that other humbug

Hmm…

Story Of Our Lives… [AKA The Internet]

All you need to get sucked in

Is a flashy Twitter handle,

But are you prepared to RISK YOUR LIFE [!!]

It’s quite an uncertain gamble.

You could be lured into cyber space

By a celebrity blog or site,

NOT following your fav’s Facebook page

Would use up all your might

Then there are all those YouTube clips

That keep you chortling with glee,

I swear they’re like drugs, you just CAN’T stop

One look and your life’s history

Before you know it, you’re 89

With no family, no job, no kids,

Somehow, you’ve wasted all your life

Laughing to YT vids!!

Don’t get me started on those wretched Vines,

Those six-second shots of Morphine,

Instead of baths, you Vine-binge

It’s because of THEM you’re not clean!!

I’m kidding, of course, you’re 100% spot-free

You’re purer than the driven snow

The layer of dust that’s settled on you

Is OBVIOUSLY just for show

And, just like that, you’ve metamorphosed

From a random Joe with an OK tummy,

To a couch potato with ZERO social skills,

In other words, an Internet Mummy!!

The Age Of Technology

The internet is taking over our lives rapidly. The usage of letters as a means of communication is slowly dying down. People are turning to inventions like Skype and Wassap to connect with relatives scattered over the globe.

Tweens sit hunched up over the computer’s keyboard, typing furiously about their new status; ‘Perched on the commode,’ ‘Blinking my eyes’ and ‘Killed mosquito number 57.’ Adults spend hours on end updating their Twitter accounts.

People actually going outdoors and spending the day picnicking with the family is turning into a rarity. Just the other day, as I sat around a table at a popular eatery with my parents and my little sister, I spotted a boy -not older than thirteen- ignoring the pleasant chatter his parents were indulging in. Instead, he feasted his eyes on his tablet, playing Minecraft like there was no tomorrow.

People are pushing the limits when it comes to social etiquette; phone calls answered during meals, texting pals during class hours, turning a deaf ear towards parents while surfing YouTube for Beyoncé’s latest video, dashing away to check emails every two seconds.

Then there are chat rooms. Weird, unknown places where you “talk” to weird, unknown people. Would you, in real life, admit your deepest, darkest secrets to a stranger?? Well, you seem to be confiding in foreigners quite easily while “talking” in cyber space.

This madness has got to stop. People have to realize that they are not living REAL life, but a virtual dream where you can be a penguin or a monster [depending on which website you are a member of].

If this craze continues, people will begin worrying about being employed on the internet, the same people who don’t give a damn about not having a a real job. The public will be more hesitant to give up their internet fantasy than to eat meals regularly. They will care more about their stomachs being full on FeedYourMonster.com than the agony their tummy’s are going through in real. The world will cease being the only planet with life -unless you consider YouTube-crazed so-called humans life-.

And when that happens, God save the Queen.