The digital world is a sea of unfamiliar faces. You meet someone. You help that someone. In the end, you both gain something. Yet, you have not realized anything.
Last March 2020, schools throughout NCR were forced to shut down in an attempt to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak. Online learning was implemented in order to continue education even so. When the academic year 2020 – 2021 officially began, numerous rants were posted online. I felt their struggle. I thought that it was going to be a stressful academic year.
Weeks had passed since the first day of online learning and I felt like it was fine for me because I could focus well. Being in solitude brought me tranquility. Fortunately, I was able to do well because thoughts that may cause stress to me were eradicated. There was a time when a friend from another school messaged me regarding his activity in Philosophy and I felt guilty eventually. It was because I told him that I could not give my best when people ask me to do their activity and I only exert efforts when it comes to doing my own. He replied that he was not asking me to do it, but he was asking for help. I realized that I was too focused on myself that I tend to misinterpret other people. Stress also comes from school works, but I guess we’ll just have to bite the bullet. Nevertheless, I thought that I should be more careful with my words when chatting with a friend.
I believe that there is always a room for improvement, and it showed one time. A friend and classmate asked me if I already turned in a quiz that was to be answered for only ten minutes because she did not manage to turn it in within the said time. I comforted her with words saying, “Hihi just do better next time” with a smiley face after. She thanked me and even told me that my reply lessened her worry as she felt relieved. The digital world may be a sea of unfamiliar faces, but there are familiar attitudes which please you. I realized that I should not think if my friends message me out of the blue, it means that they only pop up when they need help. They turn to you because they trust you. We tend to think that the one who we have helped is the one who gained, but we also gained. We gained much more trust from them. It is such a good feeling that they see you as a trustworthy friend, even in the digital world. During this stressful situation, I learned to also show simple actions online that can mean so much, such as listening to my friends’ stories and complimenting them when they send selfies. Therefore, I am confident to say that I also make a positive impact on their digital lives.
HONORABLE MENTION – SHORT STORY MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE DIGITAL WORLD
17 years old