This post was written by digital mentee Sharon Young after showcasing her digital media project at Emoti-Con! along with digital mentees Eda Tse and Shrien Alshabasy.
I didn’t know what to expect when I stepped through the entrance of the New York Public Library. There were people with gadgets and poster boards, parents with their kids, and a bunch of tables set up science fair style. We were an interesting bunch! I could tell a busy day was planned for us.
1. Be open to new experiences.
You never know what you might find or who you’ll meet. Emoti-Con! exposed me to other youth groups and their projects. For instance a group developed a prototype iPhone case that used solar energy to charge phones. The team at Mouse Corps designed an art palette that could assist users with disabilities. Another created a game to raise awareness of gun violence in their school community. All the projects we saw were unique and inspirational in their own way.
2. We spend a lot of time on our phones!
Because of this, why not make it meaningful? Every now and then, take time to stop and reflect. We’ve grown quite impatient since the information we access is within the reach of our fingertips. Think about the value of of photos, messages, and blogs we share and the impact it has on others.
3. Be open to try new technology.
At Emoti-Con! I was introduced to new terms and technologies. Before attending Emoti-Con! and Girls Write Now in general, I was scared of anything associated with “digital.” I was impressed to see the creative ideas proposed by the other youth groups that incorporated digital media. It has opened my eyes to the many different uses of digital media (e.g. social impact, entertainment, innovation).
4. Failure is okay.
We often hear stories of success but not much about the mishaps. One keynote speaker, Anil Dash, explained how it’s okay to hit a bump in the road. He shared a story about his friend David who did not do so well with his first company. Instead of being discouraged, he took a detour and ended up creating Tumblr. Whoa, you may think that’s a bit much! But the point is, taking a detour isn’t always bad. Your failures teach you where to improve and set you in a new direction to start again.
5. You can make a difference!
There were many wonderful keynote speakers who shared their experiences and how they got where they are today. One thing I got from them is that it’s never too early to try. We have time to try out new things and fail. But that’s okay, because it shows us what we’re capable of.
Overall, my first time at Emoti-Con! was an amazing experience. It was motivating to see other teens bringing forth ideas and people listening. To be surrounded with other enthusiastic kids in the same space was exhilarating and got me thinking about next year!