The Oft-Repeated, God-Awful Words in the Internet-era Criticism
‘Overrated’ & ‘Underrated’ are the words that occupies a huge space in the English language, especially when it comes to its use in modern-age, internet-era criticism (of films, games, books, etc). It’s not a meaningless word, but certainly turned into one of irritating words in the online criticisms. Overrated or underrated is often used when general public praise a work of art (or simply a new product) more or less than they actually should. Of course, there is not perfect mark to determine what makes up for ‘more’ or ‘less’. Armed with expertise, experience, and facts, a person can use the two aforementioned words to set up a good conversation; to adroitly explore a film or book to the core to say why the general perception is wrong or twisted.
But mostly ‘underrated’ & ‘overrated’ is simply over-used as means whine in the social media. A person just assumes a purely subjective role and due to their utter lack of intelligence to defend personal opinion, they throw out these word ‘overrated’. In social media, over & under-rated are used to express one’s indignation rather than the effort (or desire) to begin a conversation. As a movie-lover, I find this to be so annoying while scrolling through Facebook feeds. These are people who are so caught inside echo-chambers that they just want to re-affirm what their so-called fb ‘friend’ has said (of course, everyone has the right to state one’s opinion, however manipulated it is). What they are very better at articulating is their outrage and often enunciate personal taste as a fact that must be accepted.
I personally find it better to say if I liked a movie or not or only moderately enjoyed it. Why should we allow a half-assed opinion to doubt our enjoyment of a movie or a book? If the arguments leading to overrated or underrated truly reflect some substance or facts we ignored, then we can scrutinize our subjective take. But it’s a waste of time to lock in argument with persons, who think that the art of criticism lies in labeling a popular film as ‘overrated’ (the labeling itself is the only argument).
Both the terms have become like: ‘I disagree with the prevailing opinion, just for the sake of it or because it’s so cool to do so’. The overrated, underrated articles I come across in Facebook are the equivalent of an angry person shouting from the corner of streets at general populace. What such articles or opinions strives to do is to make the culture of criticism into the dumbest thing on internet; to reiterate that civilized conversation on social media is a passe. Let us not misuse the words ‘overrated’ & ‘underrated’ and not make internet a more immature space than it already is.
P.S. I hope many people read this article so that I don’t get the chance to vent out on Facebook about how ‘underrated’ this article is.