How the Internet Shaped My Formative Years Living With ASD
I joined many organizations that truly allowed me to be who I am and also helped me grow as a person.
It’s always funny how the internet changed our way of life and thinking forever. We have the equivalent of the Library of Alexandria in the palm of our hands, yet we use it to drool over women that live halfway across the country, look at cats and get into arguments with strangers.
The question though, is what happens when a person, who already has issues in social situations, is thrust into a place where people are masked and show their true colors?
The answer will shock you.
My name is Guillermo Guzman and I have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). I was and still feel like the Petri dish of a chronically online person. Once I got my first computer when I was in middle school, I was hooked. Playing flash games, watching Youtube videos and being one of the first Roblox players had me completely connected. Yet, even with knowing all these things, I was still stuck with the pangs of my autism diagnosis.
Playing online games and talking to people over Xbox Live was my main source of socializing since the people at my school did not truly understand me. Even though I was talking to what may be considered the armpit of society, I felt like I was among people that understood me. Fast forward to high school and many people there were both playing video games with me, and also hanging out with me in real life too. I finally felt like I was a part of something.
Sadly, the center could not hold.
Things fell apart once I went to college and those people that were my friends went their separate ways as I struggled once again to regain my social circle. This was even harder for me due to the reason of the people in the college playing different games than me that did not appeal to my tastes. I felt more alone than ever.
Spoiler alert: this story thankfully has a happy ending.
I soon joined many organizations that truly allowed me to be who I am and also helped me grow as a person. If you are asking me for a moral for this story, I could say to find something that you like, stick to it, and the people will come to you. Just remember to take periodic showers too, I learned that really helped.