ONONYE | This International Women’s Day, Don’t Just Post Your Mom

My biggest pet peeve about International Women’s Day is the social media “thank you” posts. The “Thank you to all the amazing and strong women in my life” posts that almost always include a picture of your mother, sister, best friend and grandma but leave out so many other important people. It especially bothers me when someone who is particularly anti-feminist or spends time working against women has the audacity to do the same thing.

ONONYE | A Year Later, The Most Relatable Quarantine Moments

I am writing this column on March 13, 2021, which marks the one year anniversary since President Martha Pollack’s infamous email. The content of that email sent us home for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester and was my first real introduction to the severity of the pandemic. After her email was sent out around 1:30 p.m. on March 13, 2020, I packed up my life in Ithaca and got on a flight to Southern California less than 17 hours later. Looking back, I had no idea what we were in for. I can shamefully admit that I was even a bit excited for an extended spring break.

NGUYEN | Instagram Removing Likes Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be

I initially downloaded Instagram on my hefty anchor of a first-generation iPad. I remember the beginnings of the social platform well: its tan camera logo adorned with a rainbow stripe, its unflattering in-app photo filter options, its young userbase experimenting with this novel concept of “social media” for the first time. But since its introduction to the world in Oct. 2010, Instagram has been through a lot of changes, from countless user interface upheavals to a notorious $1 billion acquisition by Facebook. Nevertheless, Instagram has thrived in its popularity among youths — and as a result, it’s strengthened its hold on youth culture.

YANDAVA | Pay Attention, Be Astonished

While people worldwide were mourning Mary Oliver’s death, I was at home celebrating my 20th birthday. I saw the news scrolling through Tumblr, the platform that had first made me fall in love with her work at the age of 11. You’ve probably seen the lines “What is it you plan to do / with your one wild and precious life?” on Facebook or Twitter or staring down at you accusingly from your middle school English teacher’s classroom wall. However, although Oliver’s work regularly appears on sites like Pinterest, it doesn’t quite translate to social media in the same, trite way as you might think at first glance. Last semester, I wrote a column criticizing Instapoets like Rupi Kaur for sacrificing depth and poetic language for accessibility in order to gain Internet stardom.

PINERO | Instagram’s Commodification of the Self

Raise your hand if you used social media today. If you’ve posted in the past month. If any part of that post — photo, editing, caption, geotag — was vetted by someone else before publication. Wave it around if you’ve ever done something or gone somewhere specifically “for the ’gram.”

It’s true that this behavior has become normalized, and that I myself participate. Neither negates the fact that it’s totally bananas.