A twenty-something woman who lives in a small town in Alaska is pretty much the same as any twenty-something across the world. Especially in the 2015 where internet is accessible, and while not cheap, most young people can afford the expense. I suppose that about 20 years ago when I was born, and my parents didn’t have a GPS, but maybe a cell phone- my dad was into gadgets- they were very different than their New York City living peers.
Alaska winters are rough. It gets really cold, obviously, but it’s also really dark. My husband, who never wants to leave only has one complaint about Alaska, and that is the nearly all consuming darkness of winter. Alaska is also isolated, so travel is expensive and time-consuming. As I write this, we just passed the fall equinox, so the sunlight is what people who live in Colorado call normal. We are gradually getting less and less light, and were expecting a winter storm tonight.
So this is my life.
But thanks to the internet, I have Pinterest, blogs I love to read, the world news at my fingertips- and most importantly, social media, texting and all other ways I can connect with my friends who don’t live here.
It wasn’t always like this.
Growing up, there was always that one girl who was up to date on music- like she had Chris Brown’s newest remix at least two months after it was a washed up track on New York’s Hot 97. That was current. I was a spoiled rotten child, and got my first ipod, a pink ipod mini that would look like a loaf of bread next to its current model. My sister and I got matching ones for Christmas. I can clearly recall doing the “1,2 Step” listening to Ciara with my friends, in the snow at recess.
For my 16th birthday, I got my first iPhone- It was 2008 and somehow we had unlimited data and text plan. I was 17 when I learned that technology can get you into trouble. I was 18 when I left for college, and my phone became like a lifeline back home to my family and boyfriend. Distance didn’t seem so bad with Facetime, constant contact with text message, sending photos and videos- it was all normal to me.
I wonder what it would be like for a Sydney born in 1973 instead of ’93, and I move across the world. I probably would never had a long distance relationship, which means I probably wouldn’t be married now. I would also be 42 instead of 22. Pros and Cons.
Technology brings Alaska, which during my childhood, was culturally isolated from the rest of the world, to where we are today. I can read news on India’s election, as it happens on Twitter. It means I can see photos on Instagram of not only my friends, but celebrities. I could write on this blog. I can do anything that everyone else with internet can do.
So on days where I feel lonely, because my best friend moved to Florida, and all my girlfriends are living on the East Coast, I am thankful for the internet to connect me with those I love. I am thankful that I can keep up on politics, news, entertainment and the chaos of the world, and at the end of the day turn it all off and live in a place that is still The Last Frontier.