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Latest Topics

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Has social media destroyed a our relationships or empowered them?

Analyse the facets of human relationships.

Do we know our friends or a version of them?
We have the ability to connect with anyone at the end of our fingertips. Are we really connecting?
Has social media given isolation an environment for community spirit?
Are all social media platforms beneficial and if not what are the benefits and troublesome tendencies?

  • I know people who have met their best friends through a type of social media and completely had their lives changed by the relationship. I've connected with amazing and not to great people on multiple platforms and there's so many different views that I could see being looked at in this article. We live in a world where many of us 'live' online. I think all types of social medias would have benefits and negative points. Making new friends, business inquiries, cat fishing and bullying are a few I'd focus on. – TorriPaige 3 days ago
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  • Many people are skeptical about the "realness" of online relationships, but there's emerging evidence that those relationships can be more honest than face-to-face relationships. There's an interesting discussion at http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/05/31/1222447110?with-ds=yes: Marital satisfaction and break-ups differ across on-line and off-line meeting venues John T. Cacioppo, Stephanie Cacioppo, Gian C. Gonzaga, Elizabeth L. Ogburn and Tyler J. VanderWeele PNAS June 3, 2013. 201222447 From the abstract: "Results [from a survey using a nationally representative sample of 19,131 respondents who married between 2005 and 2012] indicate that more than one-third of marriages in America now begin on-line [that was back in 2013, so it's likely even higher now]. In addition, marriages that began on-line, when compared with those that began through traditional off-line venues, were slightly less likely to result in a marital break-up (separation or divorce) and were associated with slightly higher marital satisfaction among those respondents who remained married." – JamesBKelley 3 days ago
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  • There is definitely a dark side to online interactions, including trolling and doxing, but my thoughts keep returning to the positive. It's worth doing an internet search for: online dating and marriage There's a lot of information, including a number of studies from 2017, about the benefits of online beginnings of marriage: lower divorce rates, higher levels of satisfaction, greater opportunities to find spouses outside of traditional and limited social circles (e.g. increased opportunities for interracial and/or same-sex marriages and partnerships). – JamesBKelley 3 days ago
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  • Like personal interactions it depends on the person and the community of people they surround themselves in. – haileysolessmith 2 days ago
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  • We have friends whom we know personally, and probably have added them on our social media channels. However, people we add only because they have friends of our friends, now those are people we only know a certain version of them either through their profiles or chit chatting about them with others. In terms of connecting; we do connect with our close friends on an emotional and interpersonal level when we comment or post on each others' social media updates, or share photos of each other. What is posted can definitely cause any emotion in an individual, groups of individuals, and worldwide. However, if we are in the same room physically, and are browsing through social media feeds, THAT is when we are not connecting at all whatsoever. – Yvonne 2 hours ago
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The revival of Dungeons and Dragons due to Geek & Sundry's 'Critical Role' series.

Dungeons and Dragons has been a long established franchise that has experienced noticeable rise and falls of popularity structured around changing cultural interests. With the mainstream appeal of fantasy films and "soft fantasy" programming on television there has been a slow interest arising around the old RPG paper and pen games. However, it was not until the occurrence of the show ‘Critical Role’ by Geek & Sundry, as streamed by Twitch, that a noticeable and traceable resurgence has occurred. The popularity of a show about watching voice actors play DnD live has lead to a release of new manuals, gaming equipment and surge of fan material. Is this the start of the mainstreaming of DnD?

  • This would make a great article. It might also be good to talk about Felicia Day and her contributions to geek culture; both before and after the creation of geek and sundry. Also the show Community lured a few people into the game. – AGMacdonald 7 months ago
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  • I've heard multiple sides to this. On the one hand, a fun hobby is regaining popularity. On the other hand, Critical Role and shows like it (Acquisitions Incorporated, for example) may give people the wrong idea, because not all games have a Game Master as skilled as Matthew Mercer, let alone a cast of that caliber (they're professional voice actors who have been doing this together for years). So a possible question is, should shows like Critical Role be the motivator for the mainstream resurgence of DnD? – noahspud 5 months ago
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  • I am interested in how you might prove Critical Role as the source of this resurgence, as I think you might need to look at cultural trends that come before the first episode of critical role even airs. The 2011 new york-times best seller Ready Player One by Ernest Cline and, even, the wild success of Felicia Day's own "The Guild," seems to be a strong indication that this resurgence touches on a significantly wider interest in the production of the fantasy world. Rather than asking is DnD now mainstream, I think I am more inerested in why is DnD mainstream: why are we once again interested in the creating the fantasy world? What about the world we live in now encourages us to be interested in this kind of table top gaming? – Dethlefs 5 months ago
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"Going Viral": Internet Fame and Influence.

For the past few years, the phrase ‘going viral’ has been shown, to a increasingly greater extent, to shape what we might see and hear in the media – for better, or worse. Snapchat stories, vines, Youtube videos, memes, etc. gain attention and become news, earning their ‘stars’ perhaps longer than five minutes of fame, and instead spawning television appearances, or merchandise, for example.

How much is this a sign of the ongoing pace of what we consume as media on the internet, and how much of it can be controlled? Does this have any good, or detrimental effects (e.g. using examples, is there anything very good, or very bad, that has happened from a particular video/article/picture, going viral?)?

  • This is definitely a current, relevant topic that can be widely explored. Some good aspects would be viral causes that help a charitable organization or raise awareness of a certain issue, the 2014 ice bucket challenge to raise ALS awareness and funds for The ALS Association, for example. A downside that is slightly less specific is how the pressure to 'go viral' effects the quality of content that people and content creators churn out. As a writer who has looked into freelance opportunities, there is no shortage of online publications that demand writers who are able to produce 'attention-grabbing' articles with vague titles to pique the curiosity of bored internet users. The actually quality of the writing is secondary to the amount of clicks an article can attract. Sites are clogged with slideshow articles with clickbaity titles to bump up ad revenue. More of a comment on the decent of online writing content and journalism I suppose, but a topic that could be relevant while exploring the 'going viral' aspect of modern online culture. – Analot 4 weeks ago
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At What Point Does Parody Become Art

Look at parody fiction, and discuss at what point it stops being "Parody" and becomes "Art", can these coexist? Is parody automatically art?

Suggestion: Hillywood Productions; YouTube

  • That's a really interesting topic! Parody can parasitic in some ways; it often doesn't have a life of its own, doesn't age well, etc. Maybe to become "Art" it has to be able to stand on its own, divorced from the very thing it's parodying? – JamesBKelley 2 months ago
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The double narrative of Critical Role

Spoilers for the end of Critical Role – Vox Machina.

Is the success of Critical Role purely due to the story of the PCs in the world created by the DM, or as I would suggest, is part of the attraction getting a glimpse into the relationships of a group of charismatic individuals?

By no means am I suggesting that watching these individuals play D&D for 4 hours a week provides any real insight into the reality of their lives. However, I do think there are glimpses into the people behind the characters that at times is as entertaining as the show itself.

The best example I can think of is the final fight of the first campaign between the PCs and Vecna. The game story was awesome, but as some commentators have pointed out, watching the visceral reaction of Sam Riegel when he chose to stop the BBEG instead of his friend was just as, if not more, engrossing.

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    Published

    The Abridged Series as a Critical and Interpretive Tool

    Abridged series – a style of parody in which a preexisting show is summarized by new actors dubbing over the original show’s animation – have become increasingly popular, and as they have done so have evolved from simple comedy sketches to works that can be as focused on drama and complex characters. The writer should investigate a number of popular Abridged Series, comparing and contrasting them with their source material and noting any differences in tone, characterization, or storytelling style.

      9

      Viral Videos and Heroic Acts

      Sharing viral videos of heroic acts seems to be a double-edged sword. On one side are those who argue that sharing videos of heroic acts encourages others to do the same, and reminds our world that “good deeds” and “good doers” still exist. On the other side are those who argue that publicly sharing heroic acts is not in fact heroic, and that it is done for attention. Some critics even claim that some of these heroic acts are staged.

      Analyze our culture’s attitude toward heroic acts. Consider the arguments on both sides, and the truth and facts behind these arguments. Also consider the celebrity-ism behind viral videos. Individual such as Antoine Dodson (“Hide yo kids/hide yo wife”) and Kai, the hatchet-wielding hitchhiker, not only became well-known for their interesting personalities and rather funny news interviews, but because of the “remixes” that their videos inspired. What can be said about our culture turning heroic acts into laughable, light-hearted memes?

      Last, consider the way technology affects these heroic acts and the attitudes of people on both sides of the argument. For example, prior to the social media and viral video revolution, heroic acts were often shared through mediums such as newspaper and word-of-mouth. How has our culture’s attitude changed in this regard?

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        Why are adolescents actively seeking viral fame?

        Analyse why the adolescents of our generation are so desperate to reach viral fame, and the impact this is having on the online world, and on their future. Discuss the rise of social media platforms, such as Youtube, Instagram and Musically, and the influence viral stars from these platforms have on our youth.

        • Ok, this could get interesting. Social media has the potential to promote narcissism but here's my question: is it the chicken or the egg? Does social media merely activate genes already planted in someone's DNA, therefore only effecting people who are genetically predisposed to narcissism, or can it have an effect on any average teen? – ReidaBookman 10 months ago
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        • Being a kid in the early 2000s who was into video games and film, I wanted more than anything to be a famous YouTuber like iJustine or Mitchell Davis. I was a shy kid, but I loved performing. I reckon seeking viral fame has something to do with sharing a bit of yourself from the comfort of your bedroom. Something extraordinary about social media is that it allows 'celebrities' to have an intimate relationship with their fans. There has never been anything like that before, and it helps these people feel connected to others. So one possible argument could be that adolescents just want to be loved, but now they have the resources be loved on a larger scale by millions of strangers on the Internet. – Shannon Kelly 10 months ago
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        • This would make a very interesting article! A side note could also enter the dangers of viral fame; identity theft and bullying... Could have many different avenues!! Goodluck! – AbbyMay 8 months ago
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        • An interesting topic, indeed. Consider looking into phenomena such as the Cinnamon Challenge and Choking Game, which have dangerous and even fatal elements. You could compare/contrast with things like the Ice Bucket Challenge, which was tied to helping raise awareness of ALS. – Stephanie M. 8 months ago
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        • This is a very interesting and important topic. An article could also look at the view on "internet fame" versus "traditional fame" and how this perception affects these people. – L.J. 8 months ago
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