Cultural Criticism
The truth about public relationships on social media
Singer-turned-reality star Ray-J got into an online spat with his pregnant wife Princess Love in late November last year. The couple was in Las Vegas for an event when Ray-J allegedly had an affair in a separate hotel room. Love began posting passive-aggressive messages about her husband on her Instagram story prompting Ray-J to go on Instagram live and tell millions of people that he was still in Las Vegas, trying to prove his innocence and get people off his back. 
Both fans and the press were questioning him about what happened between him and his wife. If he said anything to those people, his words could have been twisted, which is something social media likes to do. Then he would have to explain himself to his 2.2 million followers on Instagram when frankly the only person he should have to explain his actions to is his wife, not his followers. This is a problem we could all avoid if we stopped blowing things out of proportion. The toxicity when it comes to public relationships is so real, and very few see the strain that social media puts on relationships. 
Some couples put themselves into this situation by putting everything about their relationship online, inviting vulgar accusations. I’m not saying they deserve this but they could avoid some of it by keeping things more private. Even couples that do keep things private face accusations and get dragged into scandals. Unfortunately, not a single couple on Instagram is safe from the way we publicize online spats and make them worse.
YouTube makeup artist and entrepreneur Jeffree Star and his partner Nathan Schwandt split in January after being together for five years. Star stopped posting on Instagram and Twitter for three days until Jan. 11. when he posted a video on YouTube titled “We broke up.” In the video, he talks about his and Schwandt’s relationship and the breakup. He explains that Schwandt never wanted to be famous, but he would appear in videos because Star asked him to and because he believed in everything that Star was doing.
“Me and Nathan are friends,” he said. “I feel like I need to say that because I think the internet spirals and creates so many false stories.” In this specific line, he addresses how social media makes up false stories about relationships during sensitive times. 
The problem is before he put out this video, fans were speculating if he and Schwandt really did break up because Star took the phrase “Nathan’s wifey” out of his Twitter and Instagram bio. False stories and speculation about a couple’s status can ruin trust and communication, while also discouraging them from dating again in fear of having to go through a huge scandal. 
Most people don’t realize that the couple controls what we see and we don't always get to see what happens behind the scenes. There could be problems that are legitimately affecting the relationship and people on social media have no idea, leading them to say or do things that only make it worse.
“I know that sometimes social media can be the source of arguments being bigger than need to be,” said Jorge Murilleo, a 15-year-old student at the Dearborn STEM Academy. Social media and its users have a tendency to blow things out of proportion by twisting words, making up rumors and false claims. 
I believe that relationships on social media should be less targeted when it comes to drama and scandals. I’m not saying that couples shouldn’t be on social media, I follow a variety of couple accounts myself. All I’m saying is that social media shouldn’t break up couples or blow arguments out of proportion. Having that much vulnerability on a big site with people who don't exactly share your views or don't know the value of “if you don't have something nice to say don't say anything” can damage any relationship no matter the strength and established trust. 
We make relationships work for us by establishing trust and understanding that every relationship is going to have problems or arguments and a lot of times social media makes these things worse. We need to let people be and let them handle their business so online couples can be two happy peas in a pod.

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Free Write
He is freedom
His name was social security.

He was built of 9 numbers with bright blue eyes. 
He was the opportunity of a lifetime. 

Late at night he would visit me, 
Reminding me that I am lost without him.

He would visit me at job applications to show me what I am missing out on. 
I was jealous of everyone that had him.

What did he see in that blonde-haired light skin girl?
She doesn’t know how to treat a man. 
She inherited everything she got. 

These are hard working hands. 

I crossed the ocean for you, 
That girl didn't even move a finger 
But it was never enough. 

He always picked those gringos over me. 
I wanted to let him know that I am great without him. 
I spent 5 years looking for you. 
Now I’m done chasing you...
But then there he was again at the job application, 
Beautiful as can be. 
I fell for him again. 
I wanted him,
I needed him, 
everyone needs him. 

He is freedom, he is hope.
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I wish I could make this sound poetic
I wish I could grab my brain and wring it out 
Until everything I wish I knew 
was soaking my feet 
right there for me to look down and see.

Maybe then I could put reasoning into words that weren’t ‘self sabotage’ 
And my name
Maybe then I would know who I am
Know why I am

How do I say it’s all my fault with grace
How do I say I hate who I’ve made myself 
Like Edgar would 

The blame I could spew at others, I swallow 
Instead of it going down like warm tea in a sore throat
I’m swallowing glass shards 
I once looked at my reflection in 

I’m a mystery to myself 
Don’t know if I’m hollow or overwhelmed 
A coded book with a foreign language I don’t understand 

I wish I could make this sound poetic 
I just don’t understand it 
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I speak my heart
My every word
So true.
The sentences flow
My every word
So melodious.

She looks me back
With those deep brown pools
Which dig into my skin
As though she can see
My every thought
My every wish.

A silence spreads
Vibes of disappointment
Fill the room
Wrapping around my form
Choking me.

My gaze dropped
To the floor
Where I left
My courage.

A quiet apology
Escapes my lips
No louder
Than the buzzing
Of a bee.

I wish to leave
But her gaze
Pins me down
To my position.

I whimper,
Wishing her to look away
To forget
All I said.

I close my eyes
Wishing to melt
Into the floor
To forget
All I said.

I wish every moment
To be a nightmare
To simply drift away
As I open my eyes.
A wish
That never
Follows through.
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Movies and musicals have a symbiotic relationship
If you enjoy musical classics like “Phantom of the Opera” and “The Lion King,” or more popular ones, like “Hamilton,” “Mean Girls” and “Beetlejuice,” then continue reading. 
Recently, musicals have become even more popular in American media. In particular, the movie industry has paid more attention to Broadway by adapting actual musicals into movies. This is important because adding musicals or musical-related scenes into movie theaters widens the audience for the art form of musicals.
One musical that widened the audience for musical theatre was “The Lion King,” which is not just a popular animated Disney film made in 1994 but is also a classic musical that has been playing since 1997. It has warmed the hearts of many with its touching story of a lion cub, Simba, who is destined to be king. When his envious Uncle Scar gets in the way of his rise to the throne, disaster strikes. This musical is the third-longest Broadway show with 9,176 performances according to While it has always been popular on Broadway, it has also had major success on the big screen. Even after Disney made its cartoon version in 1994, in 2019, they made a new live-action animated version. 
The trend of movies becoming adapted into musicals does not stop there. For example, “Beetlejuice,” which started as a 1980’s Tim Burton film, follows the story of a demon named Beetlejuice who haunts and kills couple Barbara and Adam, to teach them how to be a ghost. Years after the Tim Burton film first premiered, “Beetlejuice” has gained so much popularity that fans of the film also enjoy the musical on broadway. 
On the other hand, popular musicals becoming adapted into movies widens the audience for those musicals as well. “The Phantom of the Opera” is another major musical, which began in 1986 and became a movie in 2004. It follows the story of a young soprano girl who falls in love with a murderous musical genius living under the Paris opera house. This musical is the longest-running on Broadway, with 13,246 performances according to After the movie played in 2004, the music became more popular with a wider audience. 
Musicals play an important part in many people's lives all over the world. Movies are increasing the audience for musicals, which makes people appreciate this important art form more than ever before. 
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