by Bryce Morris
Since the summer of 2017, I have been writing my own social media reviews on Instagram based on pop culture topics such as film, television, comic books, and video games. Before I write my Instagram reviews, I avoid any other reviews or comments that may influence my opinion before I view the product myself. It can be difficult to prevent others from influencing my opinion. In favor of collective opinions expressed on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook becoming the determinant, the sacred days of everyone having their own distinct opinion seem to be fading into the background.
Social media sites have opened the floodgates for users to produce reviews and begin discussions of their own. Most social media users are so keen to have followers and an artificial sense of community that they will not hesitate to share misguided content. This can range widely, including news footage, articles, celebrity gossip, political prospects, and even reviews directed at several forms of media. Quite literally anyone, myself included, can go out and create a review with their smartphones or computers now, which is a scary ability that is already harming the world of entertainment. Everyone has a right to their own opinion, but when that single opinion actually stands in as the opinion of several others, then it becomes an issue within the world of creative expression.
by Caitlin Hertzberg
As early as I can remember, I’ve always been a writer. I’d always been gifted diaries throughout my childhood, swirling gel pen tips to doodle hearts in the margins near the names of boys I crushed on, spilling the ink of my secrets onto lavender-scented paper. I would steal phrases from overheard conversations and work them into melodies that tortured me from inside my head (I still do this). One of my earliest memories of being a writer is from 4th grade, ripping out sheets from a 99-cent spiral notebook and begging my grandmother to “staple it good” down the middle so that I can write stories like Judy Blume and Jerry Spinelli.
Notice I make no mention of writing in school: The kind of writing with strict sentence and paragraph minimums, about topics I couldn’t care about no matter how hard I tried. The kind of writing that you work on for weeks on end in the overheated computer lab, revising, revising, revising, memorizing the teacher-provided rubric until every word of your assignment sounds like an owner’s manual for a VCR.