Maturity

At what point in our lives do we reach “maturity?” Does it vary from person to person? … or is it a stage we must overcome in order to achieve the “bigger and better” things in life? These were the questions that struck me when my English teacher asked our class for advice on whether or not his son was mature/old enough to create an Instagram account.

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Mr. T.’s son had approached him and asked for an Instagram account, which according to urban dictionary, is a “popular photo-sharing app flawlessly tailored to the explicit purpose of taking over two decades of technological process in the realm of mobile digital photography and rendering them utterly worthless via application of appalling filters designed to transform the original clarity of images recorded by advanced digital sensors into the mottled likeness of expired film from the 1950’s developed in coffee grounds.” Whew… that was a long description.

In other words, Instagram is a popular photography app that is utilized for the “sharing of pictures.”

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In my opinion, Instagram is a generally clean social-networking site. On my feed, I see posts of food, scenery, and selfies… Pretty much it. I don’t ever recall seeing something inappropriate. Well that all depends on who you follow and who follows you…

This in-class topic made me think about my own personal experience with social-media and how it has affected me thus far. In 3rd grade, I created an email for my online games and because my teacher suggested that we make one for our own reference. Back then, I thought it was the coolest thing yet. I constantly bragged to my siblings about having an email and remember them getting jealous and begging my parents for one. In 7th grade, with the permission of my parents, I made a Facebook account, only to find it boring and useless. I decided to “deactivate my account” the next year. After I got my first Ipod touch in 8th grade, I created an Instagram account. I thought it was pretty boring at first, for none of my friends had one. I posted random things such as a ton of pictures of my dogs and of myself. I was an interesting kid.

I recall Instagram becoming extremely common/popular when I was in 9th grade. About everyone had an account. If you didn’t have one, you were considered weird and not “up-to-date,” whatever that meant.

My parents were never worried about me on social-networking sites. They trusted me and were only cautious of what I was doing online whenever something came up, which was never. My parents see me as “mature” and very wise for my age. Thus, I never had to ask permission to create an Instagram account because I was old enough to make my own decisions.

Whether someone is mature or not ultimately depends on their behavior, acts, and personality. It is quite easy to identify such characteristics, really. Having trust in others may deepen your understanding for their own personal needs and further your relationship.

Before committing to a social-networking site, check to see if it is safe to be on. Putting yourself out in the online world may hamper not only your online status, but also your personal life, which includes work, family, and relationships. Trust your instinct and check yourself before deciding to post something online.

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-Michelle Doan

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