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Literature & Language
English (U.S.)
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Reflective. The Risks and Benefits of Social Media. (Essay Sample)


The following is excerpted from the commencement speech delivered by the late David Foster Wallace to the Kenyon College graduating class of 2005. Read it carefully. Take a few moments. Jot down some notes (or type some) about this speech. Attempt to grapple with what Wallace is arguing here:
There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says “Morning, boys. How's the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes “What the hell is water?”
I'm sure you guys know by now, it is extremely difficult to stay alert and attentive, instead of getting hypnotized by the constant monologue inside your own head (may be happening right now). Twenty years after my own graduation, I have come gradually to understand that the liberal arts cliché about teaching you how to think is actually shorthand for a much deeper, more serious idea: learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience. Because if you cannot exercise this kind of choice in adult life, you will be totally hosed. Think of the old cliché about “the mind being an excellent servant but a terrible master.”
As an educator, I constantly have Wallace’s main idea at the back of my head: those who cannot think will be completely helpless in the world. Our minds are constantly bombarded by the detritus of popular culture: tv, movies, social media, the internet, politics, our cell phones, all distractions that can keep us from being aware—truly aware—of the world around us, the “water” that surrounds us (to use Wallace’s terminology).
For this reflective final, I’d like for you to write a 500-800 word essay that demonstrates how the in-class and out-of-class assignments you’ve completed in ENGL 1101 this term have made you a more careful, more thoughtful thinker, one who is more aware of the complexities of the world. Please refer to specific examples from both your writing and the assigned writings we've read throughout your essay. Understand that an academic essay must have an identifiable thesis statement supported by a number of well-written paragraphs (complete with topic sentences).
Understand that I will be holistically evaluating this final based on four areas: content, structure, style, and grammar/mechanics Pay attention to your prose. Be sure to give yourself time to read over your essay before you submit it. Feel free to use first person, but please do not use the second person pronoun (you).
Submission Guidelines
Use MLA style headings.
Use Times New Roman font, sized at 12 point (you will be docked if you do not)
Put your last name and page number at the upper-right hand corner of each page
Double-space your essay
Title your essay
Put the essay file into the appropriate dropbox.
The Holy thing we talked about and wrote about is social med the pros and cons of it.


Your Name
Subject and Section
Professor’s Name
November 23, 2020
Reflection Paper
The dawn of the internet and the social media has made the world a much more crowded place compared before. Crowded, not only in due to the migration of people but also due to the increasing homogenization of the different cultures that transcend geographical spaces due to social media. In our class, we discussed about the various risks and benefits of social media in this modern era. Thus, in line with words of Sir Wallace, I believe that despite the benefits of social media, social media could pose a lot of risks especially for someone who does not know how to direct his way of thinking.

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