The Last Potato Chip Gives People Social Anxiety


Photo by Lian Wardrop An example of the lonely potato chip. Social anxiety is caused by this occurrence daily.
Photo by Lian Wardrop
An example of the lonely potato chip. The anxiety over who gets to eat it is about to kick in.

The last potato chip in the bowl is finally exposed. Its natural habitat has been munched. There are no other survivors of the latest chip genocide. It is naked and alone in the desolate bowl. It’s being watched and stalked and will be eaten by the fastest predator. People face this reality weekly if not daily.
Social anxiety often stems from this occurrence. You might really want that last chip but you may not want your friends to judge you for nabbing it first. You might see someone else eyeing the chip and go into a generosity battle where you have to tell your friend it is okay to eat it, while you secretly judge them for not letting you have the stranded tasty morsel. Another that may happen is that you mindlessly snack and just in time realize that you have eaten a mass of chips and then you slyly leave one chip in the bowl to hint that you are considerate of others.
Even in the 1950s people were worried about the way they snacked on chips. Fred Meyers, the head of the National Potato Chip Institute said, “There have been complaints that potato chips are too noisy to be served in theaters and in high society events.”
Meyers also said, “The noiseless method is to gently break the chip into two pieces and allow the halves to melt in your mouth.”
Now in the twentieth century we are still faced with social anxiety that stems from potato chips. When the potato chip was invented, the millions of people did not realize the social angst these chips could cause.
According to The Snack Food Association and the United States Potato Board, George Crum invented the potato chip in 1853. George Crum, a crotchety chef with an illustrious name from a “posh resort called Moon’s Lake House in Saratoga Springs, New York,” invented the potato chip when a disgruntled diner thought his potato fries were not crispy enough.
Crum cut the potato slices extra thin and fried them for a longer period of time, and Crum birthed the first potato chips. Little did he know that he would cause agony over the urge to crunch to the very last. Although we may not worry about the way we munch on our chips, we still worry about the social factor of eating the chips.
Next time you are sitting around with your friends watching a horror film scanning the chip bowl you care about more than the horror film, remember that by eating chips you are carrying on the American dream. Even though that girl/guy you really like wants that last chip as much as you do, you want that chip more. You do have the choice to be polite and leave it in the bowl or you can snatch it. So I have one thing to say to you before you venture out on your next potato chip venture: go with your gut.