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Translator: Jennifer Rubio
The last time that I used a flip phone
was three hours and 24 minutes ago.
This is my phone. It flips open like so.
A lot of people might call this flip phone design, an "old phone,"
as someone at the airport security called it.
I was like "No, I just bought this!"
I just got my first phone ever this September,
just four months ago, when I had to get a phone,
because I was going off to college, and I needed to make long distance calls.
Let's get this straight for a minute.
I'm 18 years old, and I've never had a phone.
And I've been very privileged to live
on the beautiful island of Vancouver Island
where everyone there basically has phones,
that means I lived through all of high school and middle school
without a phone.
Carrying around a flip phone is not conventionally considered nowadays
as being a "cool kid," but I'm here to tell you today
that carrying a flip phone at the age of 18
definitely defines you as a "cool kid."
So, my name is Ann Makosinski; I'm 18 years old; I'm from Canada.
And I suppose you could call me an inventor.
It's actually funny because when I was a kid,
I actually identified with the term "differentist,"
which was something that I made up,
which is where I just wanted to be different,
and even though it may not appear that I am a "differentist" nowadays -
I dress like everyone else, I talk like everyone else -
I was actually almost, in a way, trained from the get-go to be different.
So how was I trained "to be different" as a kid,
was that my parents never gave me that many toys at all.
I didn't have a Tamagotchi, a Nintendo, a Wii, an Xbox, nothing.
What they gave me, however, was a hot glue gun,
and I had to make my own toys.
That's where the first area of me was almost being put in a position,
or almost forced to be in a position where I had to be creative
in solving one of the first problems you ever have as a kid
which is how to keep yourself entertained.
(Video) Ann Makosinski: This invention was my second invention,
and it is called "Creation."
The one I just showed you is called "Invention"
because that's the first one I made.
Now this one: you see this flat one?
It's posed, so he can sit down on him.
Or I can sit down on him, Creation.
But I don't sit very long because he can break.
(On stage) AM: That was my first experience with creating things.
Other than not being given that many toys,
some toys that I was given were a bit odd compared to my friends' toys
and actually here's a photo of me playing with my first set of toys
which was a box of transistors and electronic components.
It was really from the start here
that I was introduced to the world of making things with my hands,
which I feel is a skill that's almost being lost in some areas nowadays
as actually becoming quite high in demand for jobs
if you can actually do things instead of typing all the time.
So, I was always making things and being engaged.
As a kid, I wasn't allowed out very much on playdates and things like that,
until I had finished all my chores and practiced my piano -
I'm sure lots of you can relate.
My parents came from different backgrounds.
One was from Poland and the other from the Philippines.
It's funny because a lot of parents come up to me
and they're genuinely very concerned
about whether they should give their kids toys or not.
What I generally advise - not that I'm an expert -
is that if as long as you don't give your kid this many toys,
I think you'll be okay, but what I found was that creativity, for me,
and making things was born out of a necessity,
because I didn't have that many things to play with.
I really think it's important to encourage your kids
because I know as parents you want to give your kids the world,
to give them everything you have.
My dad was a skateboarder back in the day, and when I was, I think 13 or 14,
I was like, "Oh well, I want to learn how to skateboard and be cool."
And I was just given a skateboard.
It is still sitting in my room in the corner,
and I have never touched it.
What happened was that I was just like,
"Cool! I got a skateboard, I can skateboard now," and I just left it.
If I had been given, for example, just the wheels,
and then I had to get a little job, and work for it,
do chores around the house, get an allowance, save up,
design the board and then put it all together,
I would have valued that whole experience so much more
that I would actually probably be a pro skateboarder by now
or something like that.
So I think it's really important when you're in your younger years
for people to encourage you in your passions
but not to give you everything to give you that head start.
Because I wasn't given many toys, I got entertained by almost anything.
I think I'm smelling a rock here, I was a pretty insightful kid.
I have to be honest with you and say
that I'm not very "culturally" educated in some aspects.
For example, I was brought up watching a lot of 1920s and 1930s films.
I've never watched Star Wars or Star Trek.
Don't kill me, it's just not something that I've watched.
For some reason, this fact of just not having a phone, as a teenager,
limited my time talking with people.
But I never felt like, "Oh my God, I'm missing out by not having a phone."
And, as some teenagers here may know, it's called "FOMO,"
which is: Fear Of Missing Out.
I never had that because I was so content with what I was given
and how much more I had to pursue.
So, what did I do in my spare time?
Well, when I was in middle school,
I was definitely not what you would consider a "cool kid."
I was not the person who would be like, "I also want to hang out with them."
Because first of all, in middle school and high school
you are really judged a lot,
and I was very unconfident, at first, of how I appeared.
I had short hair, glasses, braces. I dressed in guys' clothes.
I didn't have the coolest stuff.
People would come up to me and be like, "Oh, what a handsome boy you are!"
and I'd be like, "Thanks!" and just walk away.
So, I was definitely quite a loner,
but I did look up to some people in my life.
While a lot of teens had modern pop stars, actresses or actors they looked up to -
which I totally respect and I have some too -
who I looked up to was a little different, and I couldn't always relate with them.
For example, my family has the privilege
of helping out with Ravi Shankar's archives.
Ravi Shankar was a musician
who brought the whole Indian culture and music from the East to the West
in the 60s and 70s, and really helped generate the hippie movement.
He worked with George Harrison.
We had the privilege as a kid, to travel to California,
and each summer, I would learn from him, and learn how his love and passion
for what he was doing, bringing in and introducing it to people
who had never seen any of this stuff before.
It was something that he loved so much.
That really inspired me and one time, we went and visited his family in India.
I was so shocked by the poverty there.
That was the first time I had ever experienced something like that,
and I was around eight years old then. It was a huge shock.
Another time, we went and visited some family in the Philippines,
and I saw houses like this,
which you don't see regularly where I come from, in Canada.
I was just so taken aback.
I didn't fit in; I knew there were problems in the world,
and I wanted to find a way to fix it simply.
But I never thought I could accomplish any of that
because I was just a regular teen who nobody really seemed to like
except for a couple of outcast friends I also had.
So, the two things my parents noticed that I loved to do
was to tinker and to talk.
So I was enrolled in something that a lot of popular kids in high school do -
just kidding - which is the Science Fair.
So, this is me in grade six. I looked like Harry Potter.
I was very proud of this project by the way.
I was comparing laundry detergents.
So, I started making projects,
and I started to get into the area of energy harvesting.
I had the inspiration for my project when one of my friends in the Philippines
told me that she failed her grade in school
because she couldn't afford electricity.
She didn't have any light to study with at night.
This brought me back to my childhood days where I had a problem
that, in the beginning, was for myself: to find a way to entertain myself.
So, I'd make my own inventions and my own toys.
But here was a problem that my friend had, and I was like,
"Well, why can't I invent a way to maybe help her out?"
So for that, I made something
that you may know me for, as "The Flashlight Girl,"
which is a flashlight that runs on the heat of the human hand.
That brought me to a whole new journey
where I suddenly learned to be confident in who I was,
because at first, to be honest,
I didn't think anyone would ever be interested in my project.
To go to places like the Google Science Fair, and Intel, was absolutely amazing,
to see that people were really inspired by what I was doing.
This year I presented my latest invention, which is called "the eDrink."
It's a coffee mug that utilizes the excess heat of your hot drink
while you're waiting for it to cool down, and converts it into electricity.
So you can eventually charge your phone or iPod from it.
Just because you're in college, and that you're a "university student"
does not mean that's the only thing you are.
That does not mean that like, "You know, I'm in university."
You leave it at that, not doing anything else.
You can pursue whatever you want to do, and start when you're in high school.
When I was in middle school, I started making stuff with electronics.
You can do whatever you want. Anything you can dream of is possible.
But you have to start and work on it even if it's just 20 minutes a day.
That's what I really wanted to emphasize today
is that you have more opportunity and time to create when you have less.
When you're given less to start off with,
your brain is designed to come up with different ways to solve your problems
and to solve other people's problems and issues.
I think that's so important to emphasize, especially in today's society
where excess, like buying this and getting that,
"That's the latest fashion, I should be wearing that,
and throw out everything else that I have,"
is kind of the trend.
I really think in a way that's going to sound slightly controversial
but I truly believe that disconnecting helps you connect and create more.
You don't think about it, but you'll pick up your phone,
you'll check it a couple seconds or a minute, ever so often,
you think, "I'm briefly checking my phone."
But if you add up every single minute, every single second
you spend on your phone per day, it's pretty terrifying.
Really minimizing your distractions,
so you can use your time most effectively is really important.
If there is one thing I can leave you with today,
for all of you who possess phones or even other small electronic devices,
it is that the next time you pick up your phone,
think of all the possibilities "off" your phone and not "on" it.
Thank you.
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Why I Don't Use A Smart Phone?

1200 Folder Collection
crystallmk published on February 19, 2020
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