Growing Friendships Through Technology

During my freshman year of high school, I joined a club called NPH, or Nuestros Pequños hermanos. This is an organization that works directly with an orphanage in Mexico. Through this club, I was able to sponsor a little boy, named Gabriel, who lives at the orphanage.

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Gabriel with all of the new clothes and gear he got.

During my freshman year, I had the opportunity to go down to the orphanage over spring break with the club and visit Gabriel. The trip was one of the greatest, most eye opening experiences that I ever had. I was able to see first hand the impact that I was making in these children’s lives. During this trip, my view of life changed, and it was all because of the children that I had met.

The children at the orphanage are so giving and always happy. Although they have close to nothing, they are 100% the happiest children that I have ever met, and it was an honor to be able to go to their home and live with them for a week.

While I was in Mexico for a week, I met a lot of other children besides Gabriel. Two other kids that I met there who I became good friends with are named Pepe and Miguel. After coming home, I still wanted to keep my connections with the people I had met because they had such a big impact on my life. I was fortunate enough that, through Facebook, we were able to stay connected with each other over the years.

Through technology, I was able to keep in touch with my friends over the years. Out of the three of them, Gabriel was the only one who was not allowed to have a Facebook because he was so young. The only way I was able to talk to him was through letter writing. This was a long process, and the letters would take months to send because they had to translate them. Being connected to Miguel and Pepe made it easier and quicker to talk to Gabriel.

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Church near where we stayed in Mexico.

It was not until my senior year in high school when I was able to go on the trip again. Even though I had not seen my friends for about three years, it didn’t seem that way because I had communication with them through technology.

I do not think that all online relationships are bad. In my case, I am able to stay connected with people who live in a different country. We do not talk as often as we used to, but I know that, through technology, I still have that connection. I am very happy that I live in a time where I am able to communicate with people this easily.

I am especially grateful for this form of communication because, since they are living in an orphanage, it is not easy to go and visit them, and they cannot come here. In order to go to the orphanage, one must go through background checks, and, even if these background checks leave you no restriction, there are still only certain days of the year you are allowed to visit.

Overall I am very thankful that technology allows me to keep contact with my friends in Mexico.

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The Joy of Missing Out

Everyones favorite time of the year is when the weather is perfect and the state fair comes in to town.  Since I had just moved to Nebraska last year, I hadn’t ever been to the Nebraska State Fair. The fair occurs in the months of August and September, and, at the time, I did not have many close friends yet. When my sophomore year rolled around, my boyfriend surprised me with tickets to the state fair. I was ecstatic and had begun to count down the days until it was time to go. Unfortunately, the state fair ended up being my JOMO or the joy of missing out.

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Photo taken at the state fair with a monkey. 

As a side note, I love pictures; I think that everything needs to be captured on film, and sometimes I get carried away. At the end of every year, I like to make photo books of everything that has happened throughout the year so the memories are always with me. This one time, though, at the state fair, I may have gotten carried away.

When the day came, my obsession of photo taking hit a high note, and there was no stopping me. Although I thought that I was having a good time, I now realize that I was only focused on taking pictures of the day instead of living in the moment and enjoying the time with my significant other. As I look back on the day, I feel bad because my boyfriend  was in all of the photos, meaning my picture obsession took away from his enjoyment as well.

The entire day, I was posting pictures on my snapchat story and also taking personal pictures. I now have pictures of animals, shows, people in costumes, and a countless number of other things.

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A picture that was probably unnecessary to take.

It is something that I need to work on. I will always be one to take pictures because I want to have the memories forever. I need to work on limiting the amount of photos I take. A few photographs of the day would suffice; I need to learn  that I don’t need to take photos of nearly everything.

Since social media is such a big part of our lives now, I do not think that it is unreasonable to take them while we are out if the reason is to capture a moment. The way that most people live their lives is through social media. It is the platform that people use to express themselves. Although, there is a limit on how much technology should be used while out with others. Time being spent with others is much more valuable than time being spent on our devices.

Technology is now the center of our lives, and, whether we like it or not, technology will continue to develop. We will always want to stay connected and know what is going on with the world around us. We will also want to share what we are doing in our lives with the world.

The world of technology is not slowing down, and unfortunately we get wrapped up in it.