Best of Freshman Writing

Volume 17

Table of Contents

Christopher Young 

Bradley Neighoff 

Chelsea Hafner 

Chelsea Hartzman 

Madelyn Koch 

Kristy Offenback 

Cody Bressler 

Emily Brown 

Ebony Ford 

Steve Hamel 

Daniel MacIntosh 

Chris Watts 

Matt McClure 

Kyley Mickle 

Shatisha Diggs 

Taylor Bury 

Joanna Evans 

Alyssa Gradus 

Cindy MacIntosh 

Abbey Miklitsch

Lisa Morrison

Hailey Schuchart

John Ritenour

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Copyright © 2012 The Pennsylvania State University

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Last updateded July 2, 2012.

Chris Watts
English 15
PSU – Brandywine

Give Me A Chance

“Well, what do you think, Chris?” As my brain tries to convert its thoughts into English phrases, I realize this conversion process will take way too long, and instead weakly respond, “Yeah, I agree.” It takes me a very long time to organize my thoughts and ideas after a statement is made or an idea is presented, and many times I am left responding to these questions in my own mind, long after the question has been presented. I am also very shy, and therefore I keep to myself when I am around other people. My social weaknesses do not end there. I am also very slow to make new friends, and my friends of old have moved away to college or have started in their careers, and I am left in a devastating social condition. As socially awkward and particular as I may be, there are many people who suffer from at least one, if not all, of these conditions. Luckily, there is a solution for all of us. Through the internet, all aspects of social life can be enhanced and customized to our liking.
    The thoughts of my mind are not the words of my mouth, and trying to translate my thoughts into understandable English is very challenging. Most of the time, the catalyst that speeds up this process is time. The internet gives us as much time as we want, whether it is four seconds or two years. There are conversations and discussions that go on for months on blogs and other websites, and there are five thousand people who say what they want in three minutes in a response to a simple question on Facebook. This freedom to respond or not, whenever we want, away from the pressure and time restraint of a one-on-one conversation allows people to formulate exactly what they want to say and how they want to say it. This online form of communication also allows for hundreds of others to join the conversation, or to, in many cases, reduce the number of people in the conversation if it gets out of hand or too offensive. The internet is also not restricted by time. In person meetings or conversations can only go for a certain amount of time and then must end or at least continue later, whereas Internet conversations are always open and available to all interested.
    Shyness has haunted me for many years, and the easiest way for me to overcome my shyness is by being with people I know or with people who are very similar to me. The only way I can decide who I want to be with and who I am willing to meet, without seeming rude, is over the Internet. Also, I do not like going to large social gatherings, and because of this, I miss out on many opportunities to find new friends. Thankfully, the Internet provides an alternative to large social gatherings. There are entire social networks dedicated to fans of books or video games that millions of people play or outdoor websites where popular hiking trails and equipment are discussed. These social networks can create events or fundraisers where all the members can come together in one place and meet, encountering like-minded individuals who love the same things. Through the Internet, I decide where I want my voice to be heard and can talk without shyness to people I want to talk to about topics I want to discuss.
    I am very past oriented. The friends of my past are still my best friends, and the years I spent with them were the greatest years of my life. Thankfully, the Internet provides a way to stay connected with people from our past, and connect us to people in the future. I have friends all over the country, and friends in the military traveling all over the world. A message can be sent to any of these individuals and a response can be written and sent back in a matter of minutes, but there is also so much more than that. My friend on tour in Japan can send me pictures and videos he is taking, and we can talk and laugh about it. We can even see each other face to face, and if we are mischievous enough we can “poke” each other. (Poke is a message received on Facebook stating that one has been poked; it serves no other purpose.) It is very hard to believe our friends are halfway across the world when we can see, hear, and talk to them. There are also groups that can be formed and classes that can be taken where we can see the director of the meeting or the instructor and ask questions and hear questions that others have without ever leaving home.
    The social life of this age does not have to be spent face to face. Friends do not have to be made by a chance meeting at a social gathering. The Internet provides ways for people to meet and stay connected with like-minded individuals, long time friends, or soon-to-be long time friends. Through the Internet, people can connect to society in the way they are comfortable with and be involved in social circles that never end or disconnect. There are very well thought out, organized, intelligent conversations that can go on for months between hundreds of people where quiet people can be heard and respected, and shy people can meet others without any apprehension. The Internet gives people a chance to speak their minds and publish their thoughts the way their brain designed them. The Internet gives people a chance to meet new people they never would have had the courage to meet, and connects them to friends old and new, no matter where they are, creating a social life like no other in the history of the world.

Chris Watts' essay appears here with his express written permission and cannot be reproduced in any manner or fashion without his express written permission.