Whitman Wire

The business of fake news: How algorithms influence our opinions

Scout Hutchinson, Columnist

October 15, 2020

The spread of information, news, personal ideas and stories through the internet has created a world where it seems like everything is at your fingertips. However, these online spaces have also created one of the biggest landscapes for business and uncontrolled capitalism. Information and knowledge have ...

Neutrality in the age of the quantified self

Illustration by Allyson Kim.

Victoria Helmer, Columnist

October 8, 2020

From test scores to fitness trackers, many of us are quantitatively evaluated on a daily basis, and these ratings can come with a host of spiritual side effects. A classic example of this is social media. As ex-Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya has stated, “We get rewarded by hearts, likes, thumbs up and we conflate that with value and we conflate it with truth....

Gen Z: We’re doing more than you think

Ava Liponis, Columnist

September 24, 2020

Gen Z is the largest and most racially diverse generation in the United States; we distrust power and dislike authority; we are masters of technology and pioneers of social media. With that said, Gen Z has inherited a mess of a world, from 9/11 and the war on terror, to two of the worst economic reces...

The healing nature of digital minimalism

Illustration by Anika Vučićević.

Victoria Helmer, Columnist

September 17, 2020

With so much going on, we can easily feel as if we are trapped in a bottomless pit of apocalyptic news, and this sentiment rings especially true if we compulsively check our devices. Since many facets of our lives have moved online, we are now extra susceptible to spending more time than we’d like to o...

Controversial social media posts cause Whitman Athletics backlash

Photo contributed by ?.

Tate Cadang, Staff Reporter

September 17, 2020

Recent social media posts by the athletics department of Whitman College have produced negative feedback from alumni and current students despite the intention to demonstrate support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Kim Chandler, Whitman’s athletic director, stands behind the message of the posts...

Numbness in the information age

Gavin Victor, Columnist

April 30, 2020

The principle is simple: repetitive stimulus leads to the human being needing a greater amount of stimulus for the same effect. This phenomenon occurs in many forms, but I think that it is critical to look at the effects of exposure to a constant flood of “information” — a term that has become so n...

Man who trades in iPhone for flip phone likens himself to contemporary Thoreau

Illustration by Elena Kaminskaia

Ann Karneus, Aroused

November 7, 2019

Although technology in the digital age provides us with instantaneous connections and a wealth of information, the sheer volume of these resources can lead to a life full of distractions.  Sophomore Josh Frederickson is combatting this dilemma by deciding to give up his silver iPhone X for a sleek Mo...

Social Media

Left. Sophomore Ellie Hough's water bottle, featuring one of her favorite stickers from her gap year. Photo contributed by Ellie Hough. The Instagram account @whitmemes shares photos that show the Whitman experience in a funny light. Screenshot from @whitmemes Instagram page.

Claire Reichle, Feature Editor

November 16, 2018

The Whitman community is formed in many ways - a common Encounters experience, living together in the dorms and even simple things like a walking across Ankeny every day.   Students are forging new ways to create community on campus through social media — specifically Instagram and Faceb...

WWU Grapples with Blackface Incident

The photo of Walla Walla University stu- dents that circulated social media.

Martina Pansze, Editor in Chief

April 5, 2018

Just before the student body of Walla Walla University departed for Spring Break two weeks ago, a racist photograph with the school’s logo circulated through social media. The photo is a publicly posted snapchat screenshot of six individuals, five of them wearing what appear to be black facial masks. The photo has a WWU logo filter and the caption #prettyHurts, as well as the w...

Crossing the Street

Illustration by Nikolaus Kenneley

Nikolaus Kennelly, Opinion Writer

October 29, 2017

Binge walkers, unlike most other compulsive types, have the rare quality of being able to think about the object of their compulsion without experiencing anything like self-doubt. That is, in a society where urges and vices usually go hand-in-hand, walking stands nearly alone as an activity that is both...

Putting Down Your Smartphone

India Flinchum, Columnist

September 10, 2017

Social media can be a temporary distraction, but its long-term effects are shocking; they’re what ultimately turned me away from excessive social media use towards infrequent and unreliable social media engagement. I deleted my Instagram account this summer and have, quite honestly, only regretted it ...

Insidious Advertising Corrupts our Lives

Illustration by Meg Cuca

Peggy Li, Opinion Editor

February 16, 2017

In childhood, it started with the commercials on all of our favorite TV channels, but as we’ve gotten older, advertisements have morphed and adapted with us and to us. Lately, no matter where you’re trying to go, you’re being sold something. Instagram has started its sponsored posts, with man...

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