Words of a 10 year old

Ayla Blair-Smith - India


January 24, 2018

I remember when I first got a proper smart phone. By “proper” I mean a non-hand-me-down phone. I must have been 15 or so, and I was over the moon about it. You see, I made a deal with my father when I was 12 (I’m simply estimating that number, it could have quite possibly been younger), that if I got into a specific high school that my parents had been eyeing up for years, I would get the latest iPhone out.

 

When it came to the day when a deal was a deal, my father asked me why I wanted such a phone. Naive as ever, and consumed by the consumerist society that I lived in, where someone’s worth was defined by what they owned, I told him I wanted to use Snapchat and Instagram. I explained that the previous phone I had, was of shitty quality, and used Windows 8 therefore the apps that I could download were limited. And of course, that it would be easier to keep in touch with everyone at home whilst overseas. I know. What a shitty excuse. Regardless, he brought me the latest Samsung Galaxy (S6 Edge) in 2015, because my mother was against buying an iPhone at the time  for God knows what reason. And that was that.

 

Since being in India, there have been weeks where I’ve chosen to keep my phone off, for many different reasons, that aren’t so important to this blog post. Regardless, I’ve had this urge to separate myself temporarily from my social circle (online) more than once. Sometimes, especially when I’m traveling around India, it’s been a piece of cake, other times it’s been harder than I’d like to admit separating myself. I know. How sad. A kid obsessed with a screen rather than reality, what’s new in this generation?

 

This month however, I kind of just deleted a few apps from my phone (Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook) and just decided to keep Messenger for contact purposes. Though I did re-download a few recently just to check on things and delete them again afterwards, the story that I want to share with you today isn’t about how much my idea of social media has changed between the age of 15 to 19 (only just), or how naive I once use to be. It’s about a kid that handed a letter to a friend of mine, who also teaches at a government school filled with energetic kids. It’s about how she read to me what a 10 year old wrote, and how we were both left in awe.

 

Anyway, here it is. Maybe then you’ll realize what I’ve been rambling about for the past 450 words, and how unimportant the things we think are important are.

 

Dear teacher,

 

Did you ever think about buying a smart phone? If yes, why yes, I do not understand why yes, because when I reach home from school and I want to tell something to my mum, she will be using her phone, she will talk to me by talking to the phone. When I go to my dad he is using his laptop. Our life is in our phones. Why is this happening teacher? I don’t understand this teacher. Only in this small box teacher, in that small box why can’t we come out of it?

 

Human connection is everything. There is much to learn from people, younger and older than myself. Happy to say, I’m glad this kid reminded me of what’s important in life and to me.

 

Stay cool.  

Ayla Blair-Smith