Thursday, 22 January 2015

AGE VS. PERCEPTION AS AN ONLINE CONTENT CREATOR


"I'm trying not to make my age a defining factor. I never wish to be praised or criticised because I'm fifteen, but because my content is actually worthy of it."

I wrote this in my journal. It's probably the most honest and real collection of words I've expressed in a while. Let me explain.

First things first, I'm going to establish the general outline to my points. I am 15. This, I accept as part of my natural identity. Feel free to acknowledge my age, but please, do not treat me differently because of it. Age is a physical label, just as physical as a label of ethnicity or gender. We should not be affected by physical labels. Don't confine your perception to that of traditional moulds. 


*

In order to consider the possibility that age is a defining factor, I need to to define my age:

I am 15. I am young, inexperienced and impressionable. I've fallen captive to lazy adolescent mannerisms . I am part of a generation dependant on technology and superficiality, materialism, vanity and a generation with an innate sense of judgement that seeps out from the cracks carved into our own self-image. 

I am one of these pitiful adolescents I speak of, because of my age.

So yes, it is possible to define your age. But is age truly a defining factor? Age corresponds to a single 24 hour day which passes each year and is engraved upon our eventual places of rest. Age tends to be what you base your respect and attitude on. Age is just another factor of prejudice. 


You're too young, you're too old. 

You're immature, you're mature. 

Our age is one aspect of how how we identify ourselves. It is a physical factor. Age itself only really depicts the state of our skin, the efficiency of our organs and the capacity of our minds.

Yet, contrary to age, there is maturity. Age and maturity are two very different things. When people to refer to age, it is often (and wrongly) encompassing of the mental mindset, development and ability of the person. But, frankly, age does not, and should not, encompass ideals of maturity.

Maturity is the development, ability and advancement of a mental mindset, perhaps past what is deemed common at a certain age. Maturity is a mental, not physical development. So whilst age depicts physical developments, maturity depicts mental developments. You could have an older person with a young level of maturity, or a young person considered very mature for their age. 

Maturity is shaped by a range of things. It could be through education, or practise, but ultimately maturity is the consequence of time, and consequently, experience. Knowledge, understanding, and wisdom, are simply side-effects of maturity.


Thus is my age irrelevant, but my maturity key?

There are just so many unanswered questions. 


But what is fact, is that my words are just words. I get praised on my expression of these words. But they are all words. Just words. And my age is just a number, despite what level of maturity I possess. 


Age. 

Age.

Age.

Age.

Age.

Age.

Age.

Age.

Age.

Age.

Age.

Age.

Age.

Age.

Age.

Read those 15 'age's over, out loud this time. It tends to lose its meaning, doesn't it? Are 15 lots less significant than 5, or 25, or 35, or 45, or 55? It is all but a number, a human created label. 

Age is just another label.

If we refuse to label on other terms, on gender, on race, on religion, on beliefs, then why should age be ignored in these terms, but not in others?

When I publish my work online, I choose to publish my age, and I suppose, because of this, it is the instigator of many comments. I guess I should only expect it. It was my choice, after all, to publish it. Though in doing so, did I choose to make it a defining factor? Surely, my age is simply one, single aspect that makes up my natural identity?

Whilst it's not part of a natural identity, I consider being a self-acknowledged 'writer' as part of my general identity. Both my age and my words are part of my personal identity, and it is not only because of this that they are undeniably entwined.  My age often has a heavy influence over my content. I often feel too young, too inexperienced and unworldly to be a writer. A writer has realms of experience and words drawn from the wealth of wisdom and knowledge from these experiences. The kind of things that result in maturity through age.

But a writer is essentially an orderer of words, right? You have the good writers, and then you have the not-so-good writers. But anybody can be a writer. You don't need to be old or mature to be a writer.

I love it when people comment nice things regarding my content. But often or not, it's followed by 'for your age', or referring to the fact I am 15. I understand that a lot of the time it's a compliment: 'I can't believe you're only 15!'. I do take this as a compliment - I am beyond flattered! But my age still seems to be a significant factor, regardless of positive or negative intentions. The fact of the matter is: my age should really be insignificant. By acknowledging my age as making me different, is it treating me differently?

If I published my age as being 25, or 45, or 55, would my words hold the same gravity? Would they be praised or criticised to differing amounts? 

I really don't mind if people acknowledge my age. But I do not want people to feel like they should treat me any differently, because of it.

I hate to come off even slightly pretentious or brash with this post. I hate to come off as showing off about my age, or drawing attention to it when all I am really trying to say is that I don't want it to matter.

As an online content creator, everything becomes in some way, a defining factor. But what you let choose to become a defining factor, is all about perspective.

This blog is a teenage thought blog. My perspective is centred around thoughts and issues that concern me, at my age. I aim for people to find solace in my words, to relate to my content, and consequently, find this content readable. Please don't judge my content based on my age, and don't not judge it in spite of my age.

We shouldn't generalise an impression based on any personal factor, but on the content itself. If the person behind the content has achieved what they set out to do, then that is the defining factor.

I think, what I'm trying to say here is that judging people and forming generalised opinions and attitudes shouldn't be done on terms of natural identities. And that is not just regarding age. It regards any personal form of identity or how you express yourself yourself, whether that be religion, race, gender or something else. I just think that age is the one that affects me personally.

At the end of the day, blogging, or equally, writing, is about sharing a perspective, and that is all I'm trying to do.

I can understand that somebody wouldn't want to read a post that they do not find themselves able to relate to on the basis of a divide in age. Everybody is entitled to an opinion, though opinions aren't rules. People of different ages have different interests, I get that. But please do not shy away from reading a teenage blog because of this. Age does not equate to maturity, after all.

So.

I am 15. I am young, inexperienced and impressionable. But I don't want this to define me. Criticise or praise because you want too. Don't shelter me from criticism because I am 15. It's okay, I can cope. Don't shower me with praise because I am 15. It's okay, I understand. 


Don't hold back.


Don't let traditional perceptions of natural identity hold you back. I'm not going to let my age restrict my perception in the eyes of others, so please, do the same.


What do you think with regards to age, or any other part of identity, versus perception as an online content creator?






 

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