I can faintly recall the days that “liking” something was a lukewarm response and a “#” was only on my #2 pencil. (And who read that symbol as “hashtag”?) It seems we have lost the ability to quantify the significance of social media in our lives or the amount of time we spend on it. A “like” has quickly morphed from a validation of our loveliness to a confirmation of our relevance.
In this week’s lead story, Rega Jha writes about her Klout score, the numerical calculation of her social media influence. She questions whether she should choose to spend her waking hours Instagramming or living, but what does living mean nowadays, anyway? Perhaps losing the capability to articulate the importance of Facebook parallels the way we rarely articulate the importance of our eyes or our fingers. It is, simply, Everything; everything without it is Nothing.
However, there is at least one thing that social media is not: collaborative. When we engage with social media we are alone, and our social media accounts are representations of nobody but ourselves. It is, however, important to remember that we are not alone in this school. And what is special about the magazine you now hold in your hands (or read on your screens) is the collaboration inherent in its creation. The Eye is the record of many voices and the labor of many hands. It’s peculiar, sometimes, to feel the flimsiness of the pages and to know just how many hours were poured into its formation. The Eye is a place for long-form argument, and a platform that appreciates magazine journalism even in this whirlwind world.
Let The Eye be your faithful companion each Thursday. Appreciate the magazine because it is smart, has sharp design, and the ability to define the Columbia zeitgeist. Our content is fresh, different, and ever-evolving (page redesigns; a new fiction section; more). We’re not about Columbia; rather, we are about things that Columbia students care about. Tim Shenk, founder of the The Eye, said, “Columbia students are busy but this is worth your time.” As someone who deeply admired The Eye before she worked for it, I can honestly say: He’s right.
Welcome to the 14th volume of The Eye. I look forward to a semester with you as our reader.
Rikki Novetsky, Editor in Chief