Why I Analyze Media
After sharing my essay I wrote on my thoughts on the possible relationship between Uzumaki and psychosis, I felt a bit embarrassed. It was definitely not a common viewpoint. In fact, I'd never seen that theory before, but my english teacher was very excited by this fact and encouraged me to write my essay. A friend of mine read it and said he'd love to see it on my website. I also have my reading page with a lot of my potentially controversial thoughts on some things I've read.
Even if my opinion is wrong or no one agrees, it sparks conversation. Between the ages of 15-18, I was friends with someone who often said their opinion was right. I would often just agree with things he said even if deep down I had a different opinion or noticed something in the media contradicted it. They considered themselves a "good opinion haver" (you know the type), and I felt a deep seated shame anytime I proposed something he disagreed with. Since that friendship has ended, I've been seeing echoes of his opinions in reddit post, on tumblr, in leftist youtubers, and I realized.. I'd been listening to someone who was regurgitating the the things they'd read online... Someone who viewed themselves as superior for believing the opinion of others.
After this realization, I felt a strong disgust with myself. I began to consume newer media that I didn't associate with him, and I'd allow myself to sit with that media for extended periods of time before looking into anything else. If my knowledge on something the media references is lacking (such as the socio political systems of Disco Elysium), I research it myself. I've learned so many things this way from various sources, and I get to hear so many opinions. It allows me to be a well-rounded individual I believe. There's been times I completely missed the themes of a piece of media and I realized after sharing my opinion with others or finally listening to someone else's analysis, but it was still fun to reach a conclusion even if it's wrong!
When I write an essay about something I haven't seen before, have conversation with a friend about my opinion on something I just read, or update my reading page with a criticism I haven't seen elsewhere, it is a source of pride for me. When I think about no longer following the opinions of others and forming my own conclusions (even if they are rather basic), I'm very happy.
I think everyone should give media analysis a try. Our different upbringings result in us all pulling something away from a thing! Before you watch that YouTube video analyzing American Psycho or read that Chainsaw Man tumblr post, why not take a shot at doing it yourself? Maybe you'll find you disagree with common opinion or learn something new about yourself.