I can’t bear the ache of seeing Facebook taking away all the time and data in the expensive mobile phones of our Youth, and generally one-sixth of the planet, statistically. For some people, Facebook is the internet or internet is the Facebook. As soon as they connect to internet, it’s only Facebook they access till they disconnect to internet. But there are other more productive, amazing and beautiful things that everyone can do using internet.

1.    Read free books
One mesmerizing app I have in my cell phone is Amazon Kindle. It’s true that we must buy books from its store. But I don’t. It may be illegal but I download freely the eBooks from some websites I search using Google. That’s possible (for your kind information). And yes, every book can be freely downloaded. And again for your information, I am reading the eBook, “The Sun Also Rises” by Hemingway. If his book is available freely somewhere in the internet, let alone others.

2.    Blog
You can freely create a blog, which is like your portfolio that you maintained when you were in high school. You can write something, beautify with some pictures and even upload some videos you create. And basically, the difference is you can get audiences. And by the way, you are reading someone’s blog. You may attack me with a question that it’s same as writing something or posting a photo in Facebook and Instagram. But the differences are; every blogs have a unique URL and people can directly visit you, blogs allow you to have people view articles the way you like to show them, blogs make people interested in your works more than Social Media does.

3.    It can employ you
Well, I always wanted to learn computer programming languages. I came through a website called FreeCodeCamp where I have learned HTML and CSS till date. And you know what? After completing their courses, they provide us with certificates which allows us to work in companies in foreign countries. I am waiting for that day. So have you ever thought internet can employ you? Yes, it can.

4.    Learn what you like
Bought a Guitar but need a teacher? You don’t. YouTube is the key. I learned guitar back in class six. That’s when I always used to go to father’s office, download a heavy load of Guitar Tutorials, then when the person the video says you to do as him, he becomes your teacher. That way, you can brush the future that you can’t stop from arriving. Using internet, you can learn how to bake a cake, open a bakery and that’s it. How’s the idea?

5.    Become an online Kapil Sharma
I don’t watch his show by the way. I don’t understand Hindi. Maybe I should use internet to learn Hindi. Coming to the point, you can create your own reality show using internet. Ryan Higa is a popular Asian who touched worldwide audiences with his funny videos on YouTube. I watch him every single time. You can be a star using internet. The difference between the videos you may share on FB and YouTube is that the videos you upload on FB remains in a constricted circle but the videos on YouTube are encircled with large amount of audiences.

6.    Explore the world virtually
Using Google Earth, you can see the world on your palm. If you love seeing different places, why don’t you just download the app and travel virtually to United States. You can see the 3D buildings and structures. You can see how streets are, where the roads lead to and maybe how their environments are comparing to theirs. It is really satisfying to see the world outside ours virtually.

7.    Become a freelancer
There are websites which let you be a journalist to their company. You can be a researcher too. And interestingly, they will pay you. You can even write your short novels and distribute using internet. Maybe if luck favors, you may be called by someone else who will sponsor to publish your book for real. The only limit is the sky. There are real happenings like this.

Now get off Facebook and do something useful!

This article is written based on my perspective, feelings and experiences. Jotted down like a diary of my daily life, it must not apply to every participants.
It’s about the three days Youth forum held at DYS in Thimphu, participated by six youth from every youth centers in Bhutan.

28th December 2015 – Reporting Day
I don’t really remember how the day has begun but I remember how it ended. I and my band-mates were at audition for Music Spotlight, BBS. It took more time than I expected because of the registration (I didn’t know this should be done) at the gate. And we received calls from our youth madam that we must report at the DYS at 3:00 PM which we could not. Directly from BBS Studio, we (I and my friend Jamyang, the co-participant of forum) ran to DYS in tense and sweats but a taxi helped when I felt my wallet rocking in the big pocket.

After getting dropped below DYS gate, we walked in with some nervousness, so happened that it was our first time in this place. I could see familiar faces at the awning. We moved forward to let know that those people were our fellow mates from Zhemgang with our caring Youth madam (I will thank her in later part) waiting patiently for our arrival.

No sooner did we smile at our fellows than two girls of DYS came to us for hostel allocation. Out of those two girls, I am quite familiar with the one, Lekzin Dema whom I have in contact over Facebook though we never met even once before.

Then some boys guided us to the DYS hostel. But as I was nothing ready to settle in hostel, I promised our madam that I will be back from Yangchenphug (that’s where my belongings resided) in two hours after bringing some clothes and Laptop.
As promised, it happened, punctual and perfect.

The first thing I liked when I first came to DYS is the dinner. Then all the participants joined the introductory session at auditorium but to be honest, new people never got familiar enough with the session.
After that, we got a bed in the hostel, free and fine, met new friends, sang some songs with guitar, and I called it a day.

29th December 2015 – Commencing Day
The three days grand youth forum began with a………….. breakfast. Haha
Some sense of humour.
Breakfast was followed by registration of participants. Then anyone can imagine the following programs; welcome and overview of the program, presentations by two youth centers (Harmony and S/Jongkhar), then a break was set for tea and snacks.

I was nervous then! For the next set of presentations, Zhemgang was included and I was the presenter. Let’s get back to work!

So presentations were continued after break by Bajo and Tashigang. All the presentations were focusing on very similar topics of Youth Issues like drugs abuse, teenage pregnancy, alcoholism, groupism, broken families etc.

So then came my turn to present on behalf of Zhemgang youth family. I began my presentation with saying a little fact (as a humour); “In olden days, house were made with the windows that can be opened easily from outside, and therefore, gentlemen used to go for night hunting. But today, the windows can’t be opened from outside, therefore, gentlemen became too reckless that they RAPE on the street.”

I also talked on same issues as other presenters. And ended my presentation by saying, “His Majesty always mention that the country’s stability depends on the hands of today’s youth. These are just words until someone comes in and gives it a meaning. So all of you, you are the meaning.”

And it was lunch which was continued by the presentations of Paro, Gelephu and Changjiji. Then recess. Phuntsholing and Mongar followed with the presentations.

The day has been quite congested though I liked it and everyone would have felt the same. Around evening 5, consolidation program was followed by bonding session where we played some games by forming groups consisting of mixture of participants from all the youth centers.
Back to dinner again. Then to bed. The day seemed longer than we lived.

30th December 2015 – Issue Discussion Day
Waking up at 6 was not a challenge due to the excitement we got for the day even though the room temperature was freezing. And breakfast again.

Till lunch was consumed by discussion of issues presented by different youth centers, tea sessions and role of youth in youth development.

After lunch was an exciting moment; Local tour. We went to Bhutan Postal Museum. It was an amazing moment to see all those stuffs, artifacts and some stories within the arts. Then all of us moved to Memorial Chorten. Some of us, who doesn’t stay in Thimphu, went to Little Bhutan. I loved it, seriously. And the night session was full of songs and dances by participants which wasn’t too catchy to eyes.

31st December 2015 – The Closing Day
Morning was exciting. We visited Buddha Point, Takin Zoo, and Ludrong Palace out of which the two places, I was reaching for the first time. Not only did I went to Takin Zoo for the first time but also I am seeing a real takin for the first time. Speechless Ludrong Palace got me and Jamyang into a tensing situation. We forgot that it was our day to Filming in BBS Music Spotlight. I received a call from the producer and, booooom, we were already late and had to cancel. But it was worth it after getting to go to places where we never reached before with people whom we never met before.

Lyonpo Mingbo Dukpa, the minister of Education was welcomed at around two o’clock. Some presenters presented him the issues which we discussed and transformed into a powerpoint. He gave us a talk, then, which almost kicked all of us to sleep.

After the meet with Lyonpo, it was already dark and we had to prepare for camp fire. I don’t know what happened at DYS then. Our band had to perform at Space 34 for the New Year Eve. It was the first time I am joining a night club. After doing some singing, we joined the floor! We shook ourselves without any reason. I don’t think someone have to really go to exercises if they come to night clubs. People jumped, shook, and never got tired. I think I lost some kg jumping for no reason there.

One very fact, I can at least say, I was the only head in the room without a drink or a cigarette. I don’t do it.

1st January 2015

So dances continued from 2015 to 2016. It was 2:00 AM and the club had to close. So I headed to DYS hostel with my mates. I thought the hostel would have been closed by now. I was completely wrong. I have hardly seen a person sleeping in the hostel. I entered in and acted drunk! Haha. Some of them believed while my fellow mate Sonam (the law captain of our shool) knew that I was just acting that way. Maybe he really know who I am. At around 5 AM, we slept.

I really really want to thank our youth madam for her impressive and care and support to us during our stay in DYS. I never felt the absence of my Mummy when I was with her.
And I wanted to thank all the people involved for their immense hospitality and fun which I made me impossible to remove it from my heart.

The morning was an emotional part. I had to say Bye to those people who became my very close friends. Tears fell, and I think it is normal. Only if we departed without feelings, that really is abnormal. I and Sonam walked together till Memorial Chorten where we departed having different way to move forward, me to Yangchenphug and him to Olakha.

Just like a sad movie ending with a melancholic background music, I can still feel the winds that blew through my cheek as I walked along Lungten Zampa.