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A Challenge

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Lesson: True Connections: Personal Experiences with Social Media

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Writing

A Challenge

By Shayne Williams

Discover what one student experiences when they tuck their phone away for a whole day.

Level

Grades 9–12

Type

Narrative

It is the first day of summer vacation going into my senior year. I find myself waking around 10 in the morning as usual, but this year’s summer vacation is going to be different.

The smell of turkey bacon and buttery pancakes transports me from the comfort of my bed to the stools in my kitchen. My dad asks me about what I have planned for the day, but I completely disregard what he says as my head is buried in my phone.

My dad slaps the top of my head which grabs my attention. He says, “Here is a challenge for you Mr. Shang Lee: Why don’t you put down your phone for a couple of days and enjoy life for once?”

I decide to take him up on his offer, and shut down my phone hesitantly, and give the phone to him. And so, the challenge begins.

I start off moving around because I have nothing to do, but in reality I do have things to do. I clean my filthy room up, which takes me a good hour to clean. I sit back and admire my cleaning masterpiece.

Then I start to read my summer reading, 1984. But I ACTUALLY get interested in the book. I read on for hours in the comfort of my bed.

Three o’clock hits and I can hear the pitter pattering of my baby brother’s little feet running towards the front door. I dash down our steps as I meet my baby brother at the front door. I ask him if he wants to play kickball outside. He seems puzzled, but excited to try out this “kickball” game.

I take him outside and demonstrate slowly how the game is played. We start to play, and my inner-child bursts out of me as I actually am having fun, bringing back memories of the days of not knowing about cell phones.

Ever since that day, I intentionally take breaks from my phone and spend time either being productive or spending time with my family. Now my goal is to get my own family away from burying their heads in their phones.

Shared from This 826 Book

True Connections: Teen-to-Teen Advice About Social Media and the Digital World

PRESENTED BY 826 NATIONAL AND COMMON SENSE MEDIA

True Connections features young writers from around the country exploring their relationship with the internet, with social media, and with the digital world in general. From essays about internet addiction to explorations of digital disconnections, True Connections gives young writers the chance to ask big questions about what it means to strike a balance between real life and online life, and to remain true to oneself in both.

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From this lesson

Grades 6–9
Informational, Narrative, Poetry

True Connections: Personal Experiences with Social Media

by Rebecca Darugar, Liz Levine, and Brancey Mora, 826NYC and 826 National

Lesson Summary

Invite students to write about their personal experiences with social media and online platforms with this lesson from 826NYC.

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by Maria, Grade 12, 826 Boston

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Narrative, Persuasive

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by Ryan, Grade 12, 826 Boston

Writing Sample Summary

In this public narrative, a student illustrates the hardships his uncle has faced to argue for a path to citizenship.