They’re not strong words. “The” was described to me, at the very beginning of my career, as “a deeply boring word” and I’ve stuck with that. I was eventually fired by the man who told me about “The”, but never mind. The company settled. I left by mutual consent. And bought myself a car to replace my company car.
No, there’s nothing actually wrong with starting your post, or your review, or your opinion piece with “The”, but if you want to give yourself an edge – don’t.
Get into the habit of thinking about strong words, action verbs, attention-getting starts, rhythm, active, yada yada, blah blah, droning on, dozing off – Boo!
Surprise is good.
Don’t introduce yourself, either, or explain what you’re writing. “Start in the middle,” somebody once said. If your readers are caught by the start, they’ll pick up the rest as you go along.
“I” is a more recent problem.
It’s typically coupled with “think” or “believe” or “really believe”, and the only difference between those three is that “I really believe” implies “I state this as fact” whereas the other two stop at “I know better, so here beginneth the lecture.”
“I” starts a piece in which the writer is thinking about – do we say “themself” nowadays? I’m not sure – thinking about himself, given that I can see him in my mind’s eye and he’s definitely a “himself” with that moustache and – ugh! – those rippling muscles; how does he do that? – rather than thinking about you, the reader, and what you might want to read.
I lost a comma somewhere in there. Maybe I should go back and count the dashes – nah. It makes enough sense as it is.
If you’re going to start a piece with “I”, remember the reader, and bear in mind that you’re writing a confessional rather than a lecture. “I love you” is good, as is “I will pay you double what you’re getting now to come and work for me.” But any variation on “I believe what we should do about Brexit is…” should be avoided.
The problem with opinions is that nobody wants to know what you think. There are people who like to debate “The Issues”, but that’s a matter for consenting adults and most of them are just waiting for their turn to talk, rather than listening.
Telling us what you think isn’t going to change what we think. Not these days.
But enough about that. “I” is self-reflection while writing is communication. There’s a mirror in “I” that can interrupt your view of the reader.
Use “The” and use “I”. You can’t avoid them. They’re useful. Necessary.
But if you start a piece with either of them, be aware of what you’re doing.