Media has always had an influence in my life. From the time I was a young kid I always had an obsession. I stared mesmerized at the screen, and no one could tear me away. The Internet was my second calling. I had my first email address when I was 7, browsing the web on AOL kids trying to find interesting articles to read. Ones about animals and politics and the impact that kids had on the world. I played games too but not so much, I was never good at them. As I got older I began to use social networking and find other parts of media. I watched videos on YouTube, got a Netflix account, and my life moved on.
My most significant interaction with social media was in the LGBTQ community, when I was 15 and first started to realize I was transgender. I looked up trans people on YouTube and watched them explained their transitions. How they came to understand who they were, how they came out, what they told their friends and parents, and everything in between. I began to message these people, asking them questions and trying to figure out my own path.
One day in March I emailed one of the people from YouTube who happened to live in Long Island, not far from my home in Manhattan, and he said he was having a meet up for his LGBTQ viewers in a few months. So on a day in May, I wandered to Bryant Park. I met so many friends there that day. They helped me come out and still help me with problems to this day all because of social media. I also joined a blogging website called tumblr. There I met more transgender people and more friends. In 10th grade, that same year, I won a contest on Twitter for who could Tweet the most about a non-profit organization. That one experience led me to get an internship and eventually a place on one of their boards.
In college, I started reading the news more. I don’t know if it was just because I thought I was more sophisticated now that I was in an institution of higher education or because I really started to be genuinely interested. I made my parents buy a subscription to the New York Times. I got apps on my phone for keeping up with the world. I started listening to every speech about every important thing. This is when I realized that I didn’t love the technology itself, but the messages that people were sending. I spent my summer catching up on the wonderful world of early 2000’s and taking a US History class. I watched the West Wing, and boy, that was amazing.
I had an interest in politics from the time I was young. But I had never seen it from an inside perspective before. It prompted me to take the class, but that wasn’t up to snuff. The West Wing made me think that even if I didn’t go to the best school in the world, even if it was just a class at community college, the knowledge I would gain would get me everywhere. But what I found was a class that used all the old media and didn’t know how to embrace the new. The history books were old, the professor was even older, full of reminiscent stories about his Irish childhood in North Philly. I didn’t learn really any history though, besides some interesting facts about the geography of the city.
At Arcadia, I want to be more than just a student. I want to be an influence on the world. The media is a great way to do that. You can transmit messages to anywhere around the world in seconds. You can be creative with how you do it, or you can be straight and say what you need to say. You can send messages to one person, or to a million people. There is nothing like it, and it’s amazing. I want to be able to share my thoughts and feelings through the media. I want to master it, and I want to use it to influence the world.