Weighing the Pros and Cons of First-Person POV

It was surprisingly easy for me to write both paragraphs. When I slip into “I” and “you,” the words come easier because it’s “me” speaking to “you” – I don’t feel separated from my thoughts. The second paragraph came just as easy, though, because years and years of being told not to use first-person-perspective made transition as easy as the flip of a switch.

One thing I noticed was that in the first paragraph, I make it a lot clearer who the audience is because I specify “our circumstances” and “our generation.” I’m speaking to Millennials, my peers. This audience becomes broader in the second paragraph, when I make general statements like “not many Millennials are aware of how…” that indicate that I am talking about a certain generation, but not necessarily to them.

It’s interesting to think about – this one little decision is the difference between someone reading my piece and saying “wait – this isn’t for me,” and stopping right there. Do I want to speak about Millennials to a broader group, or do I want to speak to this generation directly? For my purposes, I think my piece will be a lot stronger if I’m speaking directly to my peers than about them. I don’t want to go so far out of my way to reach everyone that I completely circumvent my target audience.

Also, because the second paragraph sounds so much like the academic paper I originally wrote anyway, I’m already bored. And I specifically chose this topic because I’m interested in it. So, I guess I would rather truly grab the attention of a smaller group of people than talk at a wider audience that really isn’t going to listen or care anyway.

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