“Why I Heart My Media” through the Eyes of a Third Culture Kid

A Third Culture Kid (TCK) is an individual who has spent a significant amount of their child development years in a culture different to their parents’ or country of origin.

Having lived on 5 continents at only the age of 16, I was privileged with the opportunity to grow up internationally, and experience so many different cultures. One of the downsides to this lifestyle was that I was constantly forced to start anew, and build new connections in a whole new environment. In more ways than one, media has helped me adapt to social and cultural change as well as serve as a coping mechanism for the stress that came with starting a new chapter in ways that have ultimately shaped my identity.

Connectivity. A reason to why I heart my media is due to the simple nature it possesses in allowing me to stay in touch with my friends and family in all corners of the globe. Although moving to a different country every few years meant breaking the bridge of countless bonds and connections in my life, my media (and social media in particular) has helped me construct a some sort of virtual bridge or link, in which I am able to consistently stay interconnected with the important people in my life no matter how far they are.

Being a TCK often means growing up with experiences that are different to the norm, which is why I appreciate finding and interacting with people who have lived a similar lifestyle as they tend to better understand some of the situations or emotions I’ve have experienced. This is even more true for siblings, as they have endured the same/similar experiences. But like with media, we are all affected in very different ways. My media has helped strengthen the bond I have with my siblings simply by ensuring that we can connect online. A simple meme, a funny video, an interesting post; sharing information I find online has helped me develop my relationships and learn a lot more about what the people around me like/dislike, feel about a certain issue, or even dream and aspire to be. Because in most cases, sharing information starts conversions. And social media has proved to be the greatest way in which this can occur.

I heart my media because it has not only strengthened my connections with people I love, but also served as a tool to help cope with some of the challenges I’ve had to face as a TCK.

Student Number: 13741691


Published by Life in Media

Website dedicated to the Media Life/Life in Media project of Mark Deuze, Professor of Media Studies, University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands).

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