The Following Essay addresses Prompt B for the University of Texas ( Choose an issue of importance to youïthe issue could be personal, school related, local, political, or international in scopeïand write an essay in which you explain the significance of that issue to yourself, your family, your community, or your generation.)
The lively girl I met over the summer on MySpace was not at all what I imagined in person. We had been chatting online for almost two months when we met for the first time at school. It was the first day of my senior year and I spotted her sitting dismissively in the corner of the physics classroom trying desperately not to make eye contact with anyone. When I finally succeeded in making contact with my supposed friend, Alyssa, she turned her head immediately and stared off into the distance. It was as if we had never met. All the pictures on her vibrantly decorated MySpace page of a girl with sunshine eyes and a permanent smile seemed now as a skillfully crafted myth, a lie. How could this be the same girl? At the moment, I felt embarrassed and bewildered. But now, what alarms me the most is that I am a member of a generation that has been socially hindered by online programs like MySpace.
My generation has always been easily susceptible to any new trend that crosses our path. As growing youth, our personalities are still taking shape and online social networking programs have affected this molding process. The latest craze, MySpace, has come with the most destructive effects. With MySpace, we can hide behind the comfort of a computer screen and portray ourselves in any way we please. The problem with this is that in real life, we don't know how to speak freely, negotiate ideas and simply be comfortable interacting in person. We have slowed down the process of learning how to communicate with each other merely because we are not practicing it as much as we used to. On a smaller scale, like my high school, many teenagers have already grown dependent on social networking systems because they overwhelmingly prefer meeting someone for the first time on the internet before breaking the ice in person. Yes, that's right. Alyssa wasn't the only one that had a false identity on MySpace. There were many heartbreaking instances of young adults like Alyssa, who still have not developed the confidence and social skills to handle a real conversation. When and how is Alyssa going to break out of the shell of MySpace and go to back to the basics? Though MySpace allows people from all walks of life and from all over the world to interact under one website, it is hampering the social growth of younger generations and puts them at a disadvantage in the future. Meeting a new person in real life has a thrilling aspect to it because one doesn't know, at first, what to expect. You can only be yourself and hope for the best. My generation has lost the passion for that thrill because it can easily be substituted by a simple friend request online. So I ask, what about the qualities of a face to face conversation like emotions and expressions? An avid MySpacer will plainly reply that a colon followed by a dash and an open or closed parenthesis will do the trick; closed if your happy and open if your sad. But there is more to a conversation than showing you are happy or sad with a typed smiley. You can't feel tension through a monitor and you can't type up the emotion given off by a passionate gaze or even condescending stare. I decided that the best thing to do now is just delete my MySpace. I know one deleted MySpace is not going to reverse the decline of my generation's social skills, but it's worth a try. As for meeting new people, I still find a way in real life and a solid hand shake has proved to be much more appealing than a picture comment.
You've written an excellent essay on a topic I haven't really seen addressed before. It's a very illuminating discourse!
Here are a couple of editing suggestions for you:
closed if you're happy and open if you're sad. - Remember that "you're" is really saying "you are."
As for meeting new people, I still find a way in real life and a solid hand shake has proved to be much more appealing than a picture comment. - This last sentence is a little confusing. I'm not sure what you mean by "a way in real life"; are you referring to the handshake? And by "picture comment" do you mean the smiley? It's a little unclear. Since you want your last sentence to be memorable, you might want to rewrite this.