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|Missionary Sisters of St Columban|
By Aira Lheiz B. Aquino
1st Consolation Prize Winner
The author is in Grade 9 – Sapphire at Don Bosco School – Manila, run by the Salesian Sisters of St John Bosco in Sta Mesa, Manila.
My generation is often referred to as Generation Y. It cannot be denied that on the onset, we live in the age of technological advancements. My generation is the age of technology. Some of us are even more computer-literate that the older ones think.
I had my first taste of it at age three. I can still remember myself enthusiastically pressing the buttons in the controller of our Nintendo video game console. At the age of five, I was introduced to this oddly-shaped box commonly known as the Personal Computer. And now, at age 14, spending hours and hours in front of the PC Screen is one of the things that you will most likely find me doing.
My father, being an IT Specialist, was the one who greatly influenced the ‘techie’ in me. Jumpstart, Paint and Microsoft Office Word were the first applications that I learned to use. They were then followed by Britannica, Encarta, my favorite application, Adobe Photoshop, and Microsoft Office tools like Power Point, Excel, Publisher, Access, and One Note. When I was in fourth grade, I was introduced to the internet.
The internet: eight words, three vowels, five consonants, three syllables. Webster defines it as a large computer network linking smaller networks worldwide. I personally think that the internet is one of the most amazing things that mankind has ever invented. You can attain a whole lot of useful information thus making researching more convenient, entertainment is just a click away, and you can connect to different people from different parts of the globe. But I think that the internet should come with a public warning: this may be the best and the worst thing that exists in ‘tech’ world.
The internet has not only contributed a lot to the advancement of technology. It also gave rise to different cyber crimes. Fraud and identity theft, phishing, and child pornography are only three disturbing crimes that happen online. It was also reported that a number of today’s teenagers are involved in different crimes. I felt really alarmed when I learned about this reality and it really bothers me to know that as my eyes become more open to the different aspects of technology, and as time give rise to more advancement in the future, the worst of internet malfeasance could happen. But more than fear, I felt challenged.
It was about early March 2009 and I was planning out things to do for the summer. That time, I really could not think of something that would make me busy for the two month vacation. Then all of a sudden, a simple idea of making the internet a better place for all came into my head. That was how the Bosconian Cyber Apostolate Project all started.
The Bosconian Cyber Apostolate Project or Cyber apostolate for short is a gathering of Bosconians who are gifted with talents in digital arts and technology. Living out our Bosconian profile, A Bosconian is technically confident, our main goals are: First, to show people who Bosconians are in the internet and to show them the genuine Salesian values that our institution teaches and second, to become an example to other online communities by practicing the proper use of the internet, using it for promoting what is morally good. At present, we are developing our school’s online community.
Our Pope calls us to be responsible evangelizers of today. With this, we can say that young as we may be, the Pope gives us this great responsibility to take advantage of the technological advances in promoting what is good. When we are able to respond to this call, in a way, we become Apostles of Christ. Isn’t that cool? It’s not that easy but I’m pretty sure that you will find fullness in your life if you will just give your 100 percent, doing ordinary duties extraordinarily well in your everyday life.