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Students wake up at around the same time, go to class, attend meetings, eat several structured meals, go out, go to bed and do it all again the following day. Then again the following week. Then the following term. Barring exceptions and unexpected circumstances, these terms of routine turn into years. In fact, a survey by OnePoll found that 67 percent of Americans feel like their lives barely stray from their routines. This routine extends far beyond the way people partition the time they have and permeate their mindsets and habits as well — all integral parts that represent individual identity.
Data breaches are not a novelty. They’ve existed ever since humans first started recording data and are an inherent risk of storing information. However, the rise of the digital age has made data breaches much easier to execute. Theoretically, an individual on the opposite side of the world could infiltrate any company’s database, siphon the data of millions of people with some nifty lines of code and sell it, all through a few clicks. Since 2005, there have been over 8,000 data breaches made public, with over ten billion records breached. The recent Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal at first seems like it should be just another unfortunate statistic, but its implications are foreboding for the future of digital privacy.
“To stop a bad guy with a gun, it takes a good guy with a gun,” proclaimed Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president and chief executive officer of the National Rifle Association at the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference. In an endgame situation like the one LaPierre describes, it could be that the only way to protect people would be through the use of a firearm, especially if faced with someone that also has a firearm. But the issue with LaPierre’s logic lies in the fact that he accepts that such a situation would occur instead of doing everything in his power to stop it.
Freedom of speech and freedom of the press have always been polarizing points of discussion, particularly in recent years. It is difficult now to read any publication or witness any discourse, on TV or elsewhere, without there being an undercurrent pertaining to this freedom of expression. On both sides of the aisle, invisible lines are being drawn, partitioning categories of opinions and ideas that are allegedly “fake news,” conspiracies or subjectively considered to be wrong. Some may feel that open discourse is being suffocated. Others might contend that people are not doing enough to stifle unsavory discussion. A society must define what is out-of-bounds in terms of freedom of expression and ask where it ought to draw a line in limiting dialogue.
When most people stumble upon something horrific, their first reaction likely isn’t taking out a camera or recording device — at least this was not the case a mere few years ago. Now, with the advancement of technology and the changing role of social media platforms, such an event would be shared via Snapchat, live-streamed, posted on Facebook or added to Instagram stories. In the case of vlogger Logan Paul, his medium of choice was YouTube.
The moment I pressed the red "x" button, relief and dread washed over me. For the longest time, I couldn’t bring myself to delete any social media apps from my phone. The “Fear of Missing Out” syndrome always stopped me — what if I missed something important or one of my friends did something that I needed to know about? How would I stay up to date on the latest news happening around the world and on campus? I was conscious of the fact that I spent, or rather wasted, too much time on social media, but I refused to take the first step to address this issue. The breaking point finally came a few weeks ago. I just had enough.
The Met Gala is arguably fashion’s biggest night. It’s an event where attendees are expected to abandon traditional conventions and be creative with their outfits, presenting their interpretation on the night’s theme. This year’s theme, “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between,” had the potential to be amongst the most innovative to date.
You probably haven’t paid attention to the French presidential election. I wouldn’t blame you. We have enough political turmoil here without worrying about issues across the Atlantic. Yet the effects of the election in France will have a substantial impact on the politics worldwide and already the election has changed the way Europeans approach and view politics.
On April 9, Women’s Grandmaster Sabina-Francesca Foișor became the U.S. Women’s Chess Champion. Not only is she the the first Romanian to clinch the title — a point of personal pride — she did so on her ninth attempt playing in the tournament, even after losing twice in the first four games.
It was 4 a.m., and I was in the Digital Arts, Leadership and Innovation Lab when I again found myself in what I’ve dubbed “the limbo.” I had a 10A and a 2A, an application for an internship to submit at midnight, a presentation to put together, tasks to do for my job, a column to write, homework to catch up on and of course, sleep. The magnitude of the amount of work I had to do paralyzed me — instead of making a decision about which task I would tackle next (or not), I sat on the couch and gave in to a feeling of complete helplessness.
The other day, I felt compelled to check the website for my high school’s student newspaper. Since arriving at Dartmouth, I hadn’t paid any attention to current events at my old school, and I was curious to see what changed during my first five months at college. Sports highlights, interviews with teachers, movie reviews — typical high school journalism filled the paper, until I stumbled upon an article titled, “Valedictorian and Salutatorian titles will no longer be offered as GPA recognition during graduation.”
My mom vividly remembers the protests of 1989. She remembers the energy of the crowd as they chanted for the end of the communist government, young men and women like her yearning for a change, the glint of red, yellow and blue as protesters waved the Romanian flag with pride and the feeling of unity and belonging as she stood there in a crowd of thousands standing strong against a common enemy.
For the first time in my life, I’ve started to question what it means to be an American. Given the events of the past year or so, I’m probably not the only one. As an immigrant, my life in the United States hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows. There have been times when a heavy looming cloud of dysphoria shrouded me in darkness. It can be hard to feel at home when your place of birth, most of your family and large parts of your identity are 5,000 miles away.
I found myself at it again. I had written an email to check on the status of an application but as my mouse hovered over the “send” button, I froze. What if they thought I was being too pushy? What if this action meant my application would be automatically rejected? It took some mental prodding and persuasion before I could bring myself to click the grey paper airplane button.
I remember a year ago sitting in my high school cafeteria with my friends and confidently proclaiming: “Hillary’s going to win.” My friends and I saw Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s victory as a given since, living in Michigan, a state that has voted blue for the past 24 years, we couldn’t imagine the vote going any other way. Yet look at us now, in the aftermath of an election that shocked the world — and an election in which Michigan bled red instead of blue — and that put a man into power who, as recently as a year ago, no one thought would be a presidential candidate yet alone the 45th President of the United States.
For the last few weeks, I have been unable to open a YouTube video without seeing an attack advertisement for or against New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte. I can’t watch Buzzfeed in peace without seeing, yet again, why I should or should not vote for the Republican senator. If the purpose of those ads was to sway my opinion, they fell short by a wide margin. Regardless of where I stand on the political spectrum, being inundated with pointless ads isn’t going to make me more likely to vote in a certain direction — if anything, it will make me incredibly annoyed at hearing the same propaganda over and over again. Why are billions of dollars spent each election cycle on pointless ads that have been proven to only slightly, if at all, sway the election in a candidate’s favor?
As a female chess player, I had to prepare myself every time I stepped into the tournament hall for one simple truth: I would most likely be the only woman there. Sure, there are women that play chess — the tournaments for younger children or lower ranked players are filled with them, but as they get older and the playing level increases, almost all drop out, unable to handle the pressure of having to constantly prove their worth in a field where few appreciate female effort.