Andrew Burrill on Muck Rack

Andrew Burrill

Charlottesville, Virginia
Contributor — HuffPost

Multimedia Journalist | You can find me at @BroadwayWorld + @HuffPost | @TED Speaker | Human Rights Activist | B.A. @UVA 16' | M.S. @SUConservatory 18'

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Biography

Andrew was a recent speaker at the TED conference on the power of the arts, and has been featured for his positive work towards generational social change on media outlets such as CNN, NBC, and the Washington Post. He currently writes on College Life matters for the Huffington Post, and appears f...

Interview

How is social media changing news?

Tweet it, Post it, Live it. I believe that social change in the twenty-first century is something that occurs at a very rapid and quickly changing rate, specifically for college students. With the immense amounts of powers found in today's social media, I think that their effects and ability to create a renewed culture are one of the biggest game changers that our generation will experience concerning established social norms. In my experience, one of the most effective techniques of implementing social change is to simply go out into the your community, and do it. So often I see so many of my peers proposing ideas in theory, and through classroom discussions, but never acting on them; but when they do, powerful change is always created. Social Media has the ability to showcase that change, and let others know that they are capable of doing the same. While studying drama, it has taught me that when all else fails, one must simply take the first step and see where the path leads. In my experiences at the University of Virginia, I think that this aspect of self creation, and perpetuating the outcomes of these creations, are one of the biggest elements that sets our students apart. To effect and view social change in the most simple form, one must simply look to the founder of the University of Virginia and read his words. Thomas Jefferson once said, “Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.” I think that this defining principal of my University’s founder is something that social media helps to segue around the world - social change in action.

What's your favorite social network?

For me, Instagram would be my favorite platform because of the memories that it constantly gives life to. Photos of a piece of clothing can bring thoughts of a loved one passed, a watch of a father now gone, a veil of a mother no longer. While each of these may represent an individual, perhaps what best symbolizes my love for Instagram is the camera, embedded with images that mirror life in motion. For what better reflection of humanity do we need than an object whose literal purpose is, to put it simply, reflect humanity? Humans are a fickle race, at once obsessed with living life and simultaneously overwhelmed with thoughts of death. It has been the goal of each generation to avoid death as long as possible, and while no serums have achieved the task, and while pills have only managed to add a couple of years, mankind has wept in its failure to not just prolong, but prevent, the inevitable. And so came the camera, the multitude of filters, and of course funny hashtags:both an acceptance and a denial of the passing of time all at once. Our obsession no longer dealt with how to outwit death. Rather, we found ways to outwit time -- by capturing it, holding it still, and gazing upon it as the world continues to turn. This is mankind. We are fearful, resourceful, flawed and yet beautiful. We are humans. Immortality in its own right.

Awards

The Virginia Governor's Seal for the Arts

2014 - Theater Education
Received the Virginia Governor's Seal for the Arts for my work with the youth of Virginia at the highly prestigious Virginia Governor's School for the Humanities and Visual + Performing Arts.