An Open Letter to Open Letters

'Basic' doesn't even begin to describe..

Get RAMMED | Taylor Branson | February 21, 2016

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Dear Open Letters,

I would like to personally chew on, with y’all, the madness that has ensued amongst millennials. You, Open Letters, have expedited your presence and potency on the World Wide Web with such finesse, I was beginning to think I actually liked you. In a generation that begs for players to be recognized for their individualistic endeavors, it’s you, Open Letters, that hone in on (eeek, hate to say it —) our true homogeny.

Take for example, this:

We all have that one playlist that makes us feel some typa way. Blaring through Beats, below a reprinted Audrey poster, cocooned deep into the covers, is music you handpicked to handle your heart properly, a soothing escape from your head-chaos. General themes of said playlists are included, but not limited to….

I miss her.

I love him.

I hate her.

I can’t stand him.

I need him.

It’s personal, man!

Isn’t it crazy then? Such an intimate autobiography of melody somehow finds itself as words on paper, published to a Facebook wall, as an open letter.

To my former best friend, the boy that broke my heart, my sister that only understands our relationship in these 16 details, my freshman year roommate, the boy I know I must marry, to my roommate’s mom’s best friend’s dog, y’all are great, really. In just so many words can you identify so soundly with the words that embody the essence of emotion that ring-a-lings right through the entirety of the letter, which was probably shared to a timeline, wrapped in comments of “love this,” “yaaaaas, this is so true!” or “OMG, Stacy! #6 #6 #6 lol remember when??”

Why is that we all work so hard to make our social media presence the most refined version of ourselves – signature filter, subtle reveals of political leanings with shared news bits, a pro-employment profile picture juxtaposed against a postcard of Pinnacle at a darty…. and yet, we are so willing to reduce the most visceral vibrations of our soul – love, friendship, self expression – to an open letter written by someone else, for someone else.

Where’s the individuality in that?

Irony strikes again.

I guess this is me condemning you, Open Letters, for disguising yourself as a good idea. You are but a poor prolific persuasion so that our generation of try-hards and triumph-seekers can relate to one another, through the grievances of another.

Nada. I would even go so far as to make a case for Hallmark.

Look at it this way:

It’s your half-cousin’s 18th birthday, your roommate’s dog died, you want to tell your fiancee you’re thinking of him, so naturally you march to   Hallmark – 

Happy birthday to my built-in best friend, eat cake and celebrate today!

Dogs go to heaven!

I loved you then, I love you now, I’ll love you forever….

It’s almost like playing them your some typa way playlist, commercialized and soul-bearing. At your core, you have good intention to let them know you’re thinking of them, but so conveniently can express so, courtesy of a band of Hallmark creatives. (that probably work in a low-lit room listening to Delilah podcasts, burning Yankee Candles – they breed emotion). Your recipient will be touched by your sticker-sealed envelope, and you can walk away knowing that your purchase of a pricey card is indeed redemptive – AT LEAST you have the choice to choosy-Mom-JIF style pick the most fitting card, without exerting too much energy.

The monopolization of Hallmark looks as familiar as the monopolization that you, Open Letters, currently hold on the world of “journalism” for our indiviudalistic, and all-so-homogenous generation. Feeling deflated from your recent breakup? Roadtrip with your best friends have you on cloud nine?

Sure as hell don’t share that ThoughtCatalog, it’ll screw with your aesthetic. 

XOXO, Tay