The notoriously snarky website Gawker caught wind of a Crimson editorial on Harvard students using Facebook in the classroom, or what most of us would simply call procrastinating. The article, however, takes this intuitive answer in an entirely different direction. Maureen O’Connor for Gawker introduces the piece with: “Elite college newspaper The Harvard Crimson has noticed a trend.”
Turns out in the Crimson the answer to why students use Facebook in lectures, or basically all the time, is not that everyone likes it/is stalking everyone else, but rather that we are a hoard of “Return On Time Investment” super-students. Hemi H. Gandhi for the Crimson writes, “During class, students will give their attention to whatever they think will give them the most utility in each moment. Past generations of students must also have wanted to maximize their ROTI during class. But technological innovation has provided today’s students with more options to do so in real time, via their smartphones and laptops.” Gawker deftly responds with this long reason of why we use Facebook with “According to my Harvard-to-English dictionary, the [former] translates roughly to: “Cuz we feel like it.”
When Gandhi continues on this line of reasoning, arguing for more innovative teaching practices to keep students’ attention, Gawker inserts “Also, Zuckerberg.” We’re inclined to agree with Gawker on this one–people, not just Harvard students, use Facebook to procrastinate. Sure, there are tons of incredible internet resources, but Facebook is not exactly one of them for maximizing critical thinking. Facebook usage in class doesn’t have to do with ROTI or seeing how much we can multi-task. It’s making sure that one guy/girl that you dated in high school is not happier than you.
Here at Noice we’re all about transparency–especially when our secret information is hilarious. Turns out, in the month of January the word that resulted in the highest number of new hits to our site was “hipster.” We knew you liked us you dirty hipsters, we knew it.
Coming in at a close second was “noice,” of course, since that is what everyone and their hipster mother is trying to ultimately find. Here at The Voice, though, our personal favorite had to be….[drum roll]
“dentures for children”
So, to that individual out there somewhere on the interwebs searching for the perfect site for your child’s dentures, we hope you have them. We so hope you have found them.
This morning, from 10 to 11:30 AM, Mt. Auburn Street in front of the Harvard Hillel was packed with absurdist anti-protesters responding to the demonstration of the Westboro Baptist Church across the street. The sixty-odd anti-protesters bore signs designed to highlight the absurdity of the three WBC protesters’ hateful claims by totally thrashing them in a nonsense contest. Some of the best signs of the morning included “GOD HATES MUGGLES,” “PRAISE CHEESUS,” “TEAM EDWARD,” “I HAVE TO PEE,” and “I WAKE UP IN THE MORNING FEELING LIKE P. DIDDY.” There were also people holding up giant rainbow signs, a couple of supportive Quakers from the neighborhood, two WHRB members in rabbit suits and a moose man who was blocking everybody’s view with his magnificent antlers.
Take THAT, Westboro Baptist Church!
Absurdist responses to the hatred of the WBC have precedents in several major cities, most notably in San Francisco, where church members canceled a demonstration in front of Twitter’s local headquarters but the anti-protesters carried on with their randomness anyway.
While many suggest that acknowledging the WBC’s protests is just giving them more of the attention they want, Hillel members insist that this anti-protest is actually a part of a much larger movement toward peaceable activism. In a message to attendees of the Facebook event, Harvard junior Chelsea Link wrote,
“…remember that, really, this event isn’t about the Westboro Baptist Church. They are not worth our attention. But their message of hatred and intolerance is all too common in our country today. We are using them as a foil to the world we want to create – a means to achieve real change in our own communities. This is a movement of acceptance, of support, of engaged pluralism, and of radical love.”
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