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Whenever a new sci-fi dystopian story is released we are in awe of the level of heavy-handed advertising. Videogames such as The Outer Worlds and Cyberpunk 2077 largely feature building-tall ads, the main character in Minority Report back in 2002 has hologram assistants offering him discounts, and the entire plot of Ready Player One revolves around keeping an evil corporation from filling the virtual paradise with pop-ups.

Creators of these epics are not writing fantastic commentary, however. We are already well along the way to such a reality. According to eMarketer, global media ad spend exceeded $610 billion in 2020…


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Photo via Pixabay.

Like most millennials born in the early 90s, my first foray into videogames was in the form of Pokémon and Super Mario. Straightforward and filled with bright colors, these titles would spurn years of gaming love, hate, and borderline obsession. The real tipping point, however, came when a boy brought his Xbox over to my house one night with a recently released game called Halo: Combat Evolved.

At the time I had no idea this would be a landmark first person shooter experience, but I was still blown away by the pacing, graphics, and excitement that came with taking on…


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Rewind to the 2016 presidential election. An intelligent, experienced woman is running for the highest office against a businessman who moonlights as a reality television star. On paper the result seems assured, but the anti-politician will turn out to have one of the best campaign teams in recent history.

Whether it was his allegiance with master manipulator and longtime political strategist Roger Stone, his partnership with big data firm Cambridge Analytica that gave his team access to the private information of millions of Facebook accounts, or simply his rhetoric that America was in the federal government’s pocket and his opponent…


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Whether you love him or hate him, you have to hand it to the Trump campaign. No other politician has so successfully sowed distrust in the American information system while elevating individuals with questionable motives above formerly considered authoritative sources. While the rise in misinformation used to be a comical grouping of memes and satirical conspiracy theory videos, the impending election and dangerously divisive issues make our inability to discern the truth a harrowing concern.

You’ve likely had a conversation across the aisle with someone that disagrees with one of your opinions. It starts innocently enough with a throw-away comment…


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When I was a freshman in college I met my first transgender friend. That’s not to say that there weren’t people in my high school that have since come out as trans, gender fluid, or any other identity. This was just the first time I came across someone who was actively transitioning.

He was into cosplay and had posted some of his early work on social media. I didn’t understand at the time that his male gender was as engrained into him as my female gender is in me, so when I recommended that he cosplay as Vasquez from Aliens


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Photo via Canva.

I’m struggling to find my own opinion on one of the biggest life decisions a woman can make: do I want kids? I figured that by the time I hit 26 I would have a better sense of where I stood on the matter. If anything, it’s only gotten harder.

Back in high school I always thought I would have at least one child. Easy to say when you’re 15 and the earliest you’d even consider such a thing is over a decade away. Now that I’m here I can’t help but feel I’m way too young to birth a…


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Early evening in a pub in Prague is bound to be quiet. Americans are in the minority in the world when it comes to dinner times. Even after months in Spain I still found eating a large meal after 8 p.m. to be excessive. But this is Spring Break and I’m not about to waste one of my only nights in the Czech Republic eating.

An early dinner means more time bar-hopping, taking in the culture, sights, and authentic spirits. This is my second stop on my weeklong Eastern European trip and I’ve already settled into the benefits of traveling…


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Photo via Pixabay.

Millennials are not known for being particularly spiritual. We’re more likely to spend our money on frivolities like rent, food, and the occasional dinner and drinks with friends as opposed to a week-long meditation retreat. We statistically have higher rates of anxiety and depression than previous generations. We put off major life events due to crippling debt, most of it education-related. We’re tired, lonely, and desperate for sustainable happiness.

We also, however, prioritize work-life balance and our mental health, so hope is not lost. We’re grasping for any opportunity to be better people in terms of our communities, relationships, careers…


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Photo via Pixabay.

The past decade has seen an explosion of AI being utilized across industries. We see it in Silicon Valley as intriguing robots learning to navigate complex environments. We marvel at its ability to identify pictures and videos. We are anxious at how it can create deepfakes and other misleading media. It’s in our stores, our workplaces, our homes. However, there are serious ethical concerns we are not just overlooking, but blatantly ignoring.

The very data we are training with can be flawed. One recent example features a criminal case that saw a black male defendant deemed as “high risk” because…


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Like many young writers, I dabbled in journalism during high school and college as a way to expand my skill set and develop my voice. In one of my practical courses, my teacher gave us an interesting assignment to learn the depth of research that goes into an article; he wanted us to prove that he is a real person.

Sounds ridiculous right? The man is standing in front of us, dictating the parameters of the project, he’s obviously not a group hallucination since he has mentored years of students before us. …

Melissa Jean

Content junkie and digital enthusiast. Balancing a feminist perspective with a curiosity for technology, trends, and culture.

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