Positivity: Expanding Digital Literacy Through My Website
A digital technology that has been the most impactful in recent years of my life is my website. At the end of my senior year I had to do a senior project. I took it upon myself to make a motivational poetry book. This took place during the height of Covid 19, when we were all in lockdown. The Covid era made me realize that I can use the internet to express myself. Once I completed my book, I decided to turn the book into a website because I wanted to inspire others on a larger spectrum. The website allowed me to put my work online for those who want to become inspired. On the website, I blog and share stories of my personal life. It was confusing at first because it was my first time making my own website, but once I got the hang of it, it was pretty easy to organize. The website shifted the way I communicate with others online. Previously my communication was neither formal nor emotional. The website allowed me to share my stories and blogs with those who are struggling. I also met people who have similar interests to me after they reached out to me by reading my content. I shared my website with my classmates and connected with them more online.
Being More Personal
I wanted to make my website more personal to me so that it better represented who I was. This meant that I had to make some improvements on the website, expanding it to include many more sections about my swimming identity, my Paralympic identity, and my personal identity. Making my website was the first time I had to take my work seriously and not be childish in what I put out online. I previously only used Instagram and that was only for my friends but now all my platforms are for everyone. I used to put out whatever without thinking and now it’s more intentional. On the website, I have to make sure I am putting out my best work with no errors. I can edit my website whenever I want to and add more stories and blogs to it, so others can keep coming back to the website whenever they want to for new content.
My parents influenced the way I communicate with technology. My earliest memory of technology was having Leapfrog, which is a technology game that helped kids learn their ABCs. After having leapfrog, I then had an Ipad for a few years. With both leapfrog and the Ipad technology was used for educational purposes, and I wanted my website to be the same. Another person who inspired me was Amanda Gorman, who is a poet who spoke at Biden’s inauguration. She was the person who inspired me to write my motivational book, which then led to my website creation. I listened to her speech at Biden’s inauguration and I realized this is what I want to do in life: bring positivity and light to the world, and to get people out of the dark. My website inspires people to get up and go do things that they love.
My dad had his own website. When I learned about his website, I was influenced to create my own website about positivity. Having my dad have his own website made me feel confident that creating a website was something that I could do as well. It is helpful knowing someone close to me who already made a website.
One of the challenges that I faced through technology was cyber bullying. I have used social media since fifth grade, and I had to learn what cyber bullying was. I experienced some cyber bullying when I was younger and creating my website made me feel confident of who I am and expressing myself online and bringing positivity to the world. Cyber bullying can impact someone’s mental health. It definitely impacted my mental health. People online can be negative. This is important to me because I don’t do well with negativity. This is why being confident in what you do and not caring about what people think about you or about your product is important. Then you can do some good online.
I created the website in my bedroom with no one around. I wanted to create it with a peaceful setting, where I can be truthfully honest with myself and the website. When creating the website there was no noise, so it was just me and my thoughts and the website. I wrote a story before I created the website about the UMW swim season 2021-2022. Then I created the website and posted the story on the website. I want to do more stories and bring more positive stories to the website. This is because it’s my passion to spread positivity to the world and that’s what I want to do in life. I see my computer in front of me. The computer has a pink case and has a pink keyboard case too. There is silence all around me. I created the website both in the library and finalized it in my dorm room. I started it in the library. In the library there was silence. This is because I was on the third floor and you can’t be talking at all, which is good for me because it was just me and my computer working on the website. I felt in the moment that I could do anything and I could inspire anyone to get up and go do something they enjoy. I smell the old library books that are on the shelves. I also smell the banana peel that’s in the trash can right next to my desk that I was sitting in. I didn’t taste anything because I haven’t had anything to eat since breakfast.
School Project: Becoming Something More
I made my website out of a school project, which led to its own thing all together. It’s now a much bigger thing and I have a link to the website on my social media accounts so that others can look at it. Before I made the website I made a motivational book for my senior project and then made my own website for positivity and putting stories and blogs on there. I have become more confident in not only myself with the website but with the content I create.
Creating my website has helped me with my digital literacy because I learned how to do so many new technological things. It was hard in the beginning when I first created it, but once I got used to it, it became fun. It was great to experience new things and learn more about what I want to do in life.