I know a lot of people that get annoyed with Odyssey articles appearing on their Facebook feeds and I recently read an article entitled "Please, for the Love of God Stop Sharing Odyssey Articles," written by a college student criticizing the type of articles written and published by Odyssey Online creators. I thought I'd take a minute to address the some of the claims made because while the author claimed to be writing about the Odyssey's purpose, I think they missed it completely.
*I also just want to note that I completely respect the author's view on the Odyssey as everyone is entitled to their own opinions. I am in no means trying to be mean in any of my responses.
"But all joking aside, if The Odyssey is any indication of my generation's potential, we should be seriously concerned."
I think the opposite. Being a member of the Odyssey requires a weekly submission for a post to be published. That is a totally new idea and concept to think of every week, on top of all of the work students have in college. This gets incredibly difficult when you are at a loss for ideas. To shoot down the articles that illustrate a situation or event from the view of a famous person or character is being ignorant to the creativity and thought that had to go into the writing of the article from that person's perspective. It requires a great sense of creativity to come up with something to submit. While a lot of the articles can be repetitive at times, the creativity and thought that the writer put into that article should be celebrated.
"The result is that nothing of significance ever arises out of these articles besides a quick hit of instant gratification. No lasting discussion, no reflection, no critical thought."
Let me put it this way. If you want your news, look to CNN, NBC or Fox, not the Odyssey. This is a place for people to express their creativity and to have fun writing, not necessarily a spot for someone that is launching their prime time journalism career. Maybe instant gratification is the problem here, but in the opposite sense. We are so used to having the latest information at the tips of our fingers that if its not news on social media then what is the point? I personally enjoy seeing something other than the constant flow political news on my Facebook feed. Why does everything to have to be informative, political or argumentative?
The article also went on to bash the Odyssey's use of Listicles as a viable publishing option for each week. I personally have fun coming up with ideas for listicles. Just because it is a list doesn't mean that it is any less of an article. For example, I used the listicle format to write about changes that you can make at the beginning of the new year that you might actually be able to keep. If I wrote a bunch of paragraphs for all 30 resolutions, wouldn't you fall asleep reading that? I know I would. But setting it up nicely with just a sentence or two with a resolution changes that.
"It is the publication for readers whose only other sources of information are Snapchat's Discover stories and Instagram's Popular page."
While the whole article rubbed me the wrong way, this quote bothered me the most. Because I as an Odyssey Creator, don't publish articles that cover the top actions of Donald Trump day to day, I don't know what is going on in the world? I am that self indulgent and absorbed that my only news source is Snapchat and Instagram? I didn't chose to write for the Odyssey to cover the trending stories. I'll be the first to admit I am not at all the type of person to get into political discussion or to respond political statements. That being said, I am not shut in a box ignorant to the problems and issues in the world, especially our country. If someone wants to write about the latest movie or any element of pop culture, let them. But don't assume they are any less up to date on news from other sources than Snapchat and Instagram...
Again, like I said in the beginning, I am not trying to be mean or ignorant in my defense/response to the article. But I do feel like I need to address the claims the author made. I enjoy writing for the Odyssey and am proud of a lot of the ideas I have come up with, NONE of which gained its content or information from a Snapchat news story. The time, creativity and thought it takes to fully create an article should be celebrated not shot down. And if you are tired of seeing the articles, then don't follow the Odyssey! It's as simple as that!