Autumn has descended upon Goshen College. The bright reds, oranges and yellows of the falling leaves create perfect fodder for Instagram-savvy students. Sunday afternoon scrolls through social media pages tempt us into thinking that, with enough filters, anyone can be a professional photographer. This, however, is not the case, in much the same way that a Pandora subscription does not make you a DJ, no matter how good your combination Nickelback/Creed station is.
Goshen College, of course, is no stranger to social media. From last year’s wholesome, inviting #iheartgoshen campaign to this year’s slightly less wholesome infatuation with Yik Yak, GC is noticeably a-twitter with comments. Frightened by the permanence and automatic-photo-tagging abilities of Facebook, an increasing number of GC students now turn to Twitter, Snapchat or Yik Yak to communicate and procrastinate. Other students simply enjoy the freedom that comes with the fact that their parents and grandparents still haven’t figured out what a Twitter is.
Are all these social media tools really helping me form deeper, more permanent connections with people?, I thought to myself, as I sat looking out over Schrock Plaza from the 24/7 Live Campus Webcam.
But from there, the questions just kept coming. I’ve spent many sleepless nights wondering, Is selfie-taking an applicable career skill?, Can I get chapel credit by using the associated hashtags?, and How many times can I watch that Yak head spin?
Of course, many of you know that I am no fan of technology. I still shudder at the thought of even the mini-est of iPads. When I’m not doing Differential Equations homework on my pocket abacus, I can often be found in the recesses of the Mennonite Historical Library, paging through the least-digitized manuscripts that I can find.
In fact, it was only upon hearing that Goshen didn’t offer a Medieval Studies major that I decided on an Informatics major instead.
I’ve discovered that I prefer the simple life that comes after filtering out all of the posts, tweets, yiks, yaks, snaps, crackles and pops. If you need me, I’ll be in my room, doing homework to the soothing tones of dial-up Internet. Or just send me a telegram. STOP.