A couple of weeks ago it hit me. I was sitting on the train, listening to a podcast, the sun was shining: I am young. 20 years old with everything yet to come. And that is amazing! I am so lucky to be young today!
50 years ago it was unimaginable that an 18 year old could have their own company which wasn’t passed down through the family. 50 years ago you wouldn’t be listening to teens on the radio talking about they’re journey in life and how they make money from views.
Of course a huge part in this is the grand, the mighty, the unfathomable … Internet.
It gave us endless possibilities, helped (and required) us to learn new skills, made us connect with like-minded people.
Proper grown-ups are taking young people seriously and are starting to understand how important young potential is.
It seems as though free passes into the creative and tech industries are just a click away. We’ve heard so many stories of overnight fame, of that one picture that blessed you with 50k Instagram followers. Success is everywhere. In every social network feed you read and watch people your age (or even younger) with skills and talents and a lot more in the bank than you.
It’s hard not to become frustrated, especially when you have similar ambitions. We forget that most people who grab that blue tick on Twitter have worked hard, have had great ideas (and possibly most importantly) believed in them. Overnight success is few and far between and everybody starts small.
Also — because the Internet waits for no one — there is so much competition now. It makes me sad to see how much talent we are overseeing with roughly 6000 tweets and 500 instas posted every second (source), with 300 hours of video per minute uploaded to YouTube (source). It is safe to say the Internet is not in it’s crib anymore.
I am a little angry at myself. When I was younger I didn’t care about much and I didn’t have a lot of commitment in me. To be honest, still working on that last one. I spent so much time in front of the computer, watching TV shows or on my bed reading novels (not that that’s a bad thing), just wanting to be distracted from real life. It’s understandable that as a high-school student you don’t necessarily want to spend your time reading articles on feminism or questioning society in other ways. I know that.
But when I look at kids developing apps and teens speaking on panels (and oh my god Malala) I feel like I’ve already wasted my few years I have to show for. And yes, I know that’s ridiculous for at least two reasons.
First of all, I am so so happy that there are young people out there who are invested, have opinions and the will to change. Second of all, I am young, too. There’s so much I want to achieve and the chances of me reaching my goals is, due to my privileges, relatively high.
I am so happy to be young in this day and age. Yes, it can be tough and frustrating and sadly not everybody has the resources to participate yet. My mother even pities me for the pressure young people are under today. But just to have the chance to put yourself out there is enough to motivate me to make my mark. I may have realized this a little late, but that doesn’t change my determination.
This recent Heureka!-moment of mine comes primarily from a podcast I have been listening to a lot whilst hiking and on train rides.
Filler, a creative industries podcast, is produced by two young guys and every episode is essentially an interview with a creative. That may be a filmmaker, designer, writers, producer, musician or someone who ticks many boxes. Most of the interviewees are young people who have an influence in their creative area and who have followed sometimes unconventional paths. It is honestly one of the most inspiring podcasts I’ve ever heard and if you’re interested in a creative career then you must have a listen on Soundcloud or on iTunes!