How my love for media “saved” me

Even thinking about it scares me to death: “growing up without the help of media”.

It would have definitely been much harder.

Growing up in a small, rural town where everyone seems to be close-minded, judgmental and every single person apparently looks exactly the same as each other, is certainly a difficult and hurtful experience for a teenager who’s trying to understand really important things about himself; things that everyone around him doesn’t seem to know anything about, because uneducated or because of that same place they grew up in too.

Well, this is my case. This was my experience growing up as a gay teen in rural Italy (which, let me tell you, wasn’t that “Call Me By Your Name” of an experience at all), constantly having to face two different realities: the media one and the “real world” around me.

It always felt as if I was living in my own bubble, isolated from everyone else. I mean, of course I had friends there and I still do, really dear friends, but I surely cannot say that I experienced the same things that the majority of the other people my age did. This is because I was too afraid of even doing stupid things such as going to the club, where I thought I would put myself in danger being aware that all the close-minded people there knew about my “secret”. Which is crazy thinking about it now.

Luckily for me, I happened to grow up with the help of the Internet, which acted as a constant reminder to myself that who I am is not wrong or strange at all. It definitely helped me understand how many beautiful people exist out there, and some of us just happen to grow up in the wrong place.

If I hadn’t loved and used media as much as I did, I would have gained a wrong impression of the world, one where the majority of the people are close-minded, but I did, which allowed me to feel better about myself and have more hope for the years that had to come.

Media truly acted as a third parent for me, with the exception that with my parents I couldn’t even discuss about half of the things I learnt through the Internet.

Please, keep in mind that my experience is just a “stupid” example, because there is an infinity of people around the world that had it and still have it absolutely worse than me. But I truly believe that media can be a savior for some people, and it surely has its downsides, but the relief and joy it brings to some of us is totally worth it.

That’s why I ❤ media and I will always be grateful for it.

Student ID: 13932292

Published by deuzemedialife

Mediastudies, University of Amsterdam

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