Like a lot of socially awkward people out there, I’ve struggled in the shadows of others in a variety of social situations where I never know the right thing to say or the best way to behave. This is how I’ve always been and the whole time I’ve been especially hard on myself to improve.
While I was in elementary school, my teachers had always been concerned about my social development among my peers; I was never one to interact and seemed to prefer working or playing on my own. After several parent-teacher interviews and an I.Q. test, it was determined that I didn’t have a learning disability, I just simply wanted to do things my own way. With some careful nudging in the right direction, my teachers allowed me to learn on my own how to socialize with other classmates.
Things in high school were just as much a struggle as they were for most kids my age. I was always trying to find my place, or friends I could relate with and share ideas or experiences. It was difficult. There were a few years that went by where I felt alone and often spending most of my lunch hour finding a place to eat, usually alone. It was pretty demoralizing and took a major toll on my ego. High school is something I usually don’t like to think about because of the amount of negative feelings associated with it.
But when I entered adulthood, things began to change. The era of social networking was on the horizon and the internet was becoming increasingly important in our lives. No longer did I feel quite so isolated as I was able to find friends with similar interests in games, programming or design all completely online.
Nowadays, I find myself enjoying life much more than I ever have because of the strong friendships I’ve been able to build through my computer. A device, that in the 90’s, many would equate with the socially inept. Some of my longest lasting and meaningful relationships with others have started over the internet and I personally wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s a big ocean and while I might be just a lone fish, I feel connected.