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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.

  • (Applause)

Translator: Jennifer Rubio

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Why I Don't Use A Smart Phone?

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    crystallmk posted on 2020/02/19
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