When I was 12, I had a dream to tell one million young people
that it is possible to close the gap
between how learning should feel like
and how it actually feels.
All my friends went to school out of pressure
to compete in gaining the highest grades,
which leads to depending their self-worth on numbers,
normalizing cheating and hating school.
I had this mission
because I wanted young people to fight for our right
to have an education
that encourages us to learn out of internal curiosity
instead of external pressure,
and one that feels rewarding, fun, self-fulfilling and collaborative.
这种教育是有益的 有趣的 满足的 协作的
So I thought if I could talk in front of a thousand people at a time,
I would just need to do that a thousand times
and then I would reach a million people, right?
Until I realized that I could reach millions of people all at once online,
for me, realizing that felt like finding a superpower.
That’s when I started my journey
as an educational content creator and changemaker.
So I created videos that challenge students to find the subjects
they are curious and passionate about,
provided tips on making learning fun
and demonstrated how technology could transform how we learn
and help us reach our fullest potentials.
Since then, my videos on YouTube have been viewed more than 55 million times.
Plus, I’ve helped create social activism through my online work,
starting online movements that encourage young people
to speak up about their own concerns in education
and share how they take action to solve them.
I also became more involved with the online community
of UNICEF and U-Report Indonesia.
As a U-Report ambassador,
I initiated large projects
and invited other changemakers to join forces.
For example, I coordinated a workshop on digital tools
and other 21st century skills
to help build the capacity of hundreds of young people.
I’ve had so many wonderful opportunities through UNICEF and U-Report
and my own YouTube channel
to try to positively shape the world for the better.
But I also discovered some downsides.
The downsides that I’m afraid too many young people have experienced
from being online.
If you have a strong voice online,
especially as a young person
and especially as someone trying to make change in the world,
there is definitely pushback.
It’s like by giving advice,
people think you’re putting yourself on a pedestal,
and so people try to knock you down.
For instance, one of the things I’ve talked about a lot
is the possibility for Indonesian students to study abroad.
Of course, that meant people expected me to prove it was possible
by studying abroad myself,
and I really wanted to.
Although I got into my dream university in Canada,
I didn’t get the scholarship I needed to afford attending.
And when people kept posting online, saying things like,
“Why are you not in Canada?
That’s why you shouldn’t be dreaming too high,”
I felt embarrassed and so insecure about myself.
Whether you have one follower on social media or one million,
you’ve probably known this feeling.
Or maybe you don’t post the truth about your life
because you’re afraid to be judged.
I think the first part of the solution comes from within.
It starts with self-awareness.
When we feel pressured by a certain expectation imposed by others,
it usually indicates that
that same expectation is also coming from within us.
I was disappointed in myself and sad
that I couldn’t live up to my own expectations.
I realized that I expected myself to be an excellent role model
who could prove that everything is possible,
which is the actual source of why I felt this massive pressure in the first place.
The other part we need to work on inside ourselves is self-acceptance,
which means embracing our flaws and failures
as important parts of what makes us human.
Through time, I was able to accept that I am allowed to make mistakes,
that the only people who don’t fail are the people who don’t try.
And I was trying to do great things,
so, of course, I would face some challenges, right?
所以当然了 我会面临一些挑战 不是吗？
I think if we all find some self-awareness and self-acceptance,
then we can adjust.
It is so, so important to adjust our expectations
to be more aligned and realistic to our own current situation.
So instead of expecting myself to prove everything is possible,
now I focus more on proving that we can always learn from our failures
and use what we’ve learned to help other people.
But let’s be clear,
we can’t address the hardships of social media,
especially things like cyberbullying, with individual resilience alone.
Because worldwide, more than one-third of young people
have reported experiencing cyberbullying online.
And so the other thing we must do
is to treat each other better in social media
and online communities in general.
After all, I’ve been attacked, criticized and harassed
even when I posted things out of good intentions.
In some cases,
I’ve received some very extreme and disturbing messages.
Being bullied online feels especially humiliating because of the scale:
more people attacking you online than you even know in real life.
And this happens to everyone in some way online,
not just to people with big followings.
So I really think if we want better online spaces,
we have to each play a role in creating them
by committing to treat each other with kindness and respect,
even when we disagree.
So before we leave a comment, we should always ask ourselves:
How would I feel if I were the one receiving this comment?
And if you are being harassed or bullied online or offline,
please, please, please ask for help and support.
请一定 一定 一定要寻求帮助和支持
Being resilient does not mean we have to face things alone,
we could be vulnerable at the same time,
reaching out and talking to trusted people
like our parents, best friends, teachers or even psychologists.
比如父母 好友 老师 乃至心理咨询师
In my case, I told my parents what I was going through,
and they kept me strong in resisting the urge to quit social media.
I also went to a psychologist to help me
overcome the mental health issues I faced due to cyberbullying.
She suggested that I take a break from social media
to ground myself instead of quitting for good,
and that was actually great advice.
It helped me gain some important perspective.
To be sure, there are bigger dynamics at play
that require the leadership of social media platforms and the government
to make sure we’re as safe as possible online,
especially in the case of kids.
These are complex issues,
and while we can work as individuals to be more resilient
and as communities to be more kind and careful with each other,
systemic problems ultimately need systemic solutions.
These technologies are our future,
and we need to make sure that future is healthy and safe for us.
In the end, for me, when I took a break from social media,
最后 对我来说 当我暂时离开社交媒体时
it helped me to really reflect on why I do this,
why I use online tools to educate and engage my peers.
And I realized my motivation used to be extrinsic,
wanting people to be helped and be inspired.
I hadn’t really meant to,
but by posting content for other people,
I was depending my sense of impact and even self-worth
to what other people thought or said about me.
But now I’ve realized
my motivation is and should always be intrinsic,
wanting to try my best in sharing what I’ve learned
because it gives me fulfillment and purpose.
There is a difference.
Extrinsic motivations depend on results that are out of our control
while intrinsic motivations depend on things we could do
that are under our control.
We will be less likely to take external feedback to heart
if we do things online out of intrinsic motivations.
What we do online and offline,
we should do simply because we believe it is the right thing to do.
So I have a question for you.
What’s your personal mission for being on social media,
and what will you do to fight for it?
I would love to see more young people becoming catalysts of change
by harnessing the power of social media
and do so not by sacrificing our mental health
but by being equipped with self-sustaining tools
and engaging on platforms
that are nurturing and strengthening for individuals and our world.
I may not be going to Canada,
but I am going to the future, no matter what.
Technology is my generation’s tool
to fight for the future we want to see.
It should help us, not hurt us.
When I was 12, I had a dream to tell one million young people