Why such a negative reaction to one blog post?
By Shoshana Greenberg (lyricist/bookwriter)
Taylor Cotter, a 22-year-old recent college grad, has a blog on Huffington Post about life in her early 20s. It's part of a series Huffington Post is doing on the "quarter-life crisis." Normally I wouldn't think much of these pieces, but this one got my attention because the comments and Internet chatter became unnecessarily mean.
It's not a bad post. It's a comment on her life at this moment, as the Quarter-Life series requires, but a Village Voice story says she sounds "obnoxious." A post on Gawker has called her "entitled," as do many commenters.
Why the attack? I didn't see the post as a sob story or even indulging in self-pity. Her argument seems to be that college graduates today are given many different messages, both from adults and pop culture, and she's questioning the pressure she's felt from adults to play it safe and get a steady job no matter what it is.
The pop culture messages, on the other hand, romanticize the NYC Bohemian lifestyle, and I would have loved to see Cotter critique them. Instead, she gives in to them, but the influence of television characters (those of Sex and the City and Girls) and of her friends can be strong. It's natural for her to wonder if she's missing out on NYC adventures and the struggle to pursue her dreams.
Remember how awesome the characters in Rent were for doing just what she's describing?
Writers should be prepared for Internet comments and to defend what they write, if necessary, but there seems to be a mass misreading of Cotter's post. Are people responding this way out of jealousy? A fear of their own lives being misrepresented? Are the days of worshipping the characters in Rent truly over? Whatever the reason, people need to stop harrassing this young writer.