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must reads #1: love & media stress

Between writing for my high school paper and being a journalism major for a strange 12 weeks (long story), I’ve always had a soft spot for well-written articles. I honestly read way more long-form journalism than I do actual books — which was an awkward answer to give when English professors would ask what my favorite novels are, etc. Keeping up with new content is probably why I love Twitter so much. My feed is always popping with the awesome pieces some great people are putting out there.

With that in mind, I thought I’d share a few articles that have really struck me the past couple weeks. Some are recent, and some were just recently retweeted, but all of them left an impact and kept me thinking. #JournalismNerd

1. “A Husband for Home, a Wife for Away” by Claire Dederer

I’ve been a fan of NYT’s “Modern Love” series for awhile. But to be honest, when I first clicked on the article I thought it was going to be about some soap-opera-level cheating drama. Spoiler: I was wrong.

Dederer’s breath of fresh air ended up being even better than I could have hoped. I’ve always believed in the idea that it’s unhealthy to expect one single relationship / friendship to supply everything you need in your life. If we have multiple friends for different reasons (some to party with, some to chill with, etc) then why would we pressure our romantic partners to somehow be everything at once? While Dederer’s set up is a bit unique, I really appreciated the idea that you can “customize” your life whatever way you want it. By focusing on what we like most about all the people we love, we can celebrate the ways we make each other better.

2. “How Do You Keep Social Media from Destroying Your Mental Health?” by Sarah Kurchak

Anyone in the modern day knows social media can be stressful. Everyone’s counting followers, comparing feeds, and trying to make their life look much cooler than it actually is (oops). There’s already been a lot written about how all this activity could be hurting people’s mental health. But I thought this article brought a nice balance to that convo.

I thought Kurchak did a solid job of showing both the good and bad of “life online.” Sure, constant new info can be overwhelming, but the internet also brings people together in such a unique way. Not only were her points about online culture interesting, but I also loved reading her perspective as an autistic woman who uses social media to analyze people / better understand them. She ends on the very important reminder that while social media isn’t “bad,” it’s also good to keep track of ourselves and how emotionally invested we get. We end up so drained without even realizing it! Gotta remember to calm our minds, not just distract them.

3. “On the failure of Fallout 4 at the hands of The Witcher 3” by Tauriq Moosa

I kept the nerdy option for last in case gaming isn’t your thing! (Although fair warning, more nerdy crap is bound to pop up on this blog.) I followed Tauriq Moosa on Twitter after the viral “drama” around his Witcher 3 race critique, and ever since then I loved reading his work. His pieces are always a great reminder that we shouldn’t be afraid to critique the media we love.

I enjoyed this particular article because I’m a person who loves storytelling in video games. I enjoy it enough, in fact, that I even thought about pursuing video game script writing for a bit…but pro tip: don’t bring that up around a sorority girl while going through rush, unless you want her to definitely think you’re weird. …But that’s a story for another time.

I liked Moosa’s perspective on how even though the medium of gaming only gives us certain ways to interact with these made-up worlds, we shouldn’t limit ourselves to shoot-em-ups and violence. Sure, Call of Duty and co. have their place. But there’s a lot of missed opportunities for world building and quiet moments that can be just as memorable. I really resonated with this since 1) admittedly, shooters aren’t really my thing to begin with and 2) I realized these issues were part of the reason I never bothered beating Fallout. If your actions don’t feel genuine and your choices don’t matter, what’s the point of an RPG? It was those little lacking things that kept me from replaying. I’m glad I wasn’t alone.

That’s it for July! Hopefully out of these three articles there’s something that catches your eye. The great thing about the internet is that there’s always new articles coming out that everyone can enjoy, so catch me here next month for a few more picks.

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  • Anonymous

    This is great!!!