EAT SLEEP REPEAT | “It’s Called Self Care” — Why the Mantra Is Ruining My Life

In the past week I have napped an average of two hours per day, impulsively bought three sweaters that I cannot afford, practically inhaled Twizzlers and an entire sleeve of Oreos, and watched five of the raunchiest past episodes of The Bachelor, all while telling myself, “It’s called self care.”

Hindsight is 20/20 of course, and looking back I think my actions were probably the complete opposite of self care. In the moment, however, I was so encapsulated in my stress from prelim season that I allowed myself to do practically anything just because I have this extremely vague mantra to “affirm” my desires. And it doesn’t seem like I am alone in my quest for an excuse to treat myself. It seems as though social media’s mainstream idea of self care just feeds into a cycle of bad habits, and undermines the necessity of actually taking care of ourselves and our bodies, straying away from what the term was actually meant to accomplish. The term “self-care” originated as a medical concept, as a way for doctors to tell patients to treat themselves and lead healthy lifestyles.

EMEM ELEMENT | Why Twitter Is Gold

There is no question that, at an increasingly fast rate, technology and media have advanced significantly. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Internet, iMessage, text messaging, and other various forms of communication can now all reside on a single smartphone. Gone are the days when one would wait months for a letter. Waiting three days to respond to someone’s text would blow the world up in flames. Amidst the forever expanding technology and media, an interesting phenomenon has come before us, that phenomenon being… social media.

AN EDUCATION | Missing Connections: My Love Affair with Tinder

I have something to confess: I love Tinder. And, disclaimer (because it’s necessary): I’m not hooking up with anyone on it. I used to think Tinder was an app that, once designed for a certain function, could no longer be subverted beyond it; an app that, once people learned of my presence on it, could only invite eyebrow-waggling and my own vague defensiveness in regards to privacy. But I won’t hide it anymore — the world is so big, and there are so many people, and there is so much to see; I’m not ashamed. Tinder, as an app, brings me joy and laughter, curiosity and satisfaction.

KYLIE’S ROOM | Why Oh Why Do We Overshare?

Our culture is sharing. Not sharing, with respect to giving to others, but sharing online. We tweet about how our days are going and subtweet about things, or people, that bother us. We post pictures showing the major events of our lives on Facebook, and we snapchat the mundane or mildly entertaining aspects of our lives. Different platforms of sharing technology allow me to feel like I am up-to-date not only on the lives of my closest friends but those of my faintest acquaintances.

SAVING FACE | How to be Asian American

When I was in elementary school, my parents would gather with their Chinese friends every Friday night for a Bible Study. While the adults were upstairs, all of us kids would find a computer downstairs and crowd behind it. I have fond memories of those nights playing Club Penguin (RIP) and Runescape with my friends. One day, running a little late, I bounded downstairs but ran into an unfamiliar scene. Instead of all my friends playing video games, they were all watching some guy making jokes into a camera.

MCEVOY MINUTE | The Example of Senator Warren

On Tuesday night, Democrats in the Senate took the floor to speak out against the nomination of Jeff Sessions for Attorney General. Earlier in the day, the Senate voted 52-47 to limit debate on Sessions and move towards the final confirmation vote. Sessions was later confirmed as Attorney General on Wednesday night. There are several concerns that Democratic Senators, and many members of the public, have with the appointment of Sessions. As Attorney General, Sessions would need to be an impartial enforcer of the nation’s laws, which may require him to stand up to President Donald Trump if his actions overstep the boundaries of his executive power.

MOHAPATRA | What’s in an opinion?

Having devoted the better part of my free time to social media (and not proudly so), it has been remarkable to witness the  transformation in the kind of material that crops up in my feed. There have been  tangible shifts, to the extent that everyone I know seems to have become a political activist at some level. Recently though, I have gotten into too many spats with people who have pulled out articles they saw on their Facebook feed on the alleged perpetuation of rape culture by the present-day Indian society, or people who have quoted a friend’s tweet verbatim to back up their point about the presidential primaries, only to stand corrected after being presented with a news report that speaks otherwise. I have become extremely wary of these quickly formulated opinions: while everyone is at perfect liberty to air theirs, generalized statements featuring charged words make me immediately put my guard up. I think this largely stems from my worries about where such opinions originate and whether they are informed or not.

AKABAS | Bracketology: Who/What is winning 2016?

There are many things that literally everyone on Earth hates, such as hangnails, hotels that charge for WiFi, late-2000s M. Night Shyamalan films, and that moment when you don’t check your phone for an hour and there are 257 unread messages from a single group chat when you come back. There aren’t many things that literally everyone on Earth loves, but one of those things is March Madness, the NCAA basketball tournament. A single-elimination bracket – the concept that you need to win every single game to stay in it – is ingenious. I support using the bracket concept whenever humanly possible, so let’s make a bracket to determine who or what has had the best 2016 so far. The competitors were determined subjectively by me, and the seeds, listed below, were determined primarily by number of Twitter followers (credit to former Grantland-writer Rembert Browne for this idea).

PUTTING INTO FOCUS | Facebook’s Emotional Side

Earlier this week, I was greeted by the recent changes Facebook made to its “Liking” platform. Rather than only seeing the familiar blue thumbs up, I was met with a plethora of options, ranging from like to happy to surprise to angry. Sure, Facebook had warned us about this change, but none of us were entirely prepared for it. Now, as I scroll through my newsfeed, I am presented with a broader range of emotions, each characterized with a simple emoji. This year, I had heard many stories of what Facebook likes mean to the broader public.