Social Media: Human Interaction Killer

Social Media Pic

A little over a decade ago, social media started to become popular. Between Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook (to name a few), these platforms were created with the hopes of increasing human interactions. It has now grown bigger than most of their inventers could have imagined, with approximately 2.77 billion users worldwide (Statistica.com). However, as the social media realm has become increasingly popular, the platforms that were once intended to encourage human communication is actually killing it.

Wherever you are at this very moment, take a look around. Whether you’re out to dinner with your family, or simply walking around a city – I guarantee you that someone is looking down at their phone. This is something that has become increasingly normal – and that goes hand in hand with the rise of social media. This kind of head-down, block-everything-else-around-you type of thing is the foundation of what is causing human to human relationships to deteriorate.

“There is never a time I go out to dinner or go to like, a park and I don’t see people looking straight down at their phone,” said senior Jordan Monello. “It’s honestly sad because it has become second nature, and no one thinks it is a big deal when they see this. People escape in their phones and act like nothing is going on around them.”

Not only is social media killing human to human relationships in person, it’s also doing so through cyber bullying. Like social media itself, cyber bullying has become more common as the platforms gain popularity. Over 50% of adults and teens have been bullied online, and about the same number have engaged in cyber bullying themselves (BullyingStatistics.org). This is largely because of how easy it is – 81% of young people think bullying online is easier to get away with than in person (DoSomething.org). Is there anything worse for human relationships than to bully each other using a digital device? It’s a problem that has gotten out of control, as these numbers reflect – and it’s something that may never be solved as long as social media exists.

“Cyber bullying is without a doubt one of the biggest issues that America faces,” said senior Will Byren. “Kids think that since they are behind a screen, they can say whatever they want to someone else and it can really hurt them. Social media is obviously the biggest reason for this, as its giving these kids the platform to cyber bully.”

Finally, using social media has actually become an addiction for some people – making it even harder for them to look up at their phones. Approximately 210 million people are estimated to suffer from internet and social media addictions (MediaKix.com). This just furthers the divide between social media users and human to human interactions. When I told this statistic to senior Eric McCloskey, he was not surprised at the least.

“It doesn’t shock me that so many people suffer from social media addiction. Honestly, there are very few people who I know from school who doesn’t have social media and doesn’t check it daily,” said McCloskey. “Social media addiction is very real.”

Whether it distracts you in public situations, is a forum for cyberbullying, or literally causes addiction – social media platforms are slowly and surely killing real-life human interactions.

Marist Student Appears on Wheel of Fortune

Screen Shot 2019-04-25 at 2.14.58 PMMost Americans can only dream of making it on a TV game show, but for Marist junior Caroline Fiske, that dream became a reality.

Earlier this year, Fiske was selected as one of 18 college students to fly to Los Angeles and be a contestant on her favorite game show, the “Wheel of Fortune.” The other 17 students represented various schools around the country, including Emerson College, Providence College, the University of Delaware, Drexel University, and the University of Alabama.

Fiske has been a fan of Wheel of Fortune her entire life, so getting this opportunity was an especially big deal for her.

“I have been watching Wheel of Fortune since I was a little girl. Being on the show has been a life long dream of mine. In fact, when I was a little girl and I used to wait for food at restaurants, I would play hangman on the menus and I would get my whole family involved,” said Fiske.

However, even a superfan like Fiske was caught off guard by parts of the experience.

“Despite how much and how often I would watch the show, it did not prepare me for the real experience. There is just so much going on all at once and you must remain calm, cool, and collected. There are all of these lights, sound cues, cameras, people watching you and your every move, and Pat Sajak [the host] standing less than a foot away from you.”

Speaking of Sajak, Fiske actually had a personal moment with the famous host that she will remember forever.

“The part that I will cherish for the rest of my life is when I made a mistake on one of the puzzles that I was about to solve and Pat Sajak pulled me to the side during one of the commercial breaks and he gave me some advice. He said to me, ‘don’t let that one little mistake get in your way, it happens to the best of us, just keep playing the game and focus on that.’”

Fiske bounced back from her mistake, solving puzzles such as “Vegetable Spring Rolls,” “Ducks and Geese,” and “Overlooking the Ocean.” She won $4,000 in cash as a result.

The episode aired on April 12th, and Fiske ended up walking away with a total of $10,400 in cash and prizes in addition to a trip to the Bahamas. Even though Fiske didn’t advance to the bonus round of win the million dollar prize, she had no regrets.

“I would not change anything about this experience. Even though I did not win, this whole experience has given me the confidence and persistence that I never knew I had. Because despite how much competition I had and how much pressure I was under during the whole filming process, I did not give up on myself and at the end of the day I did not let my nerves get the best of me.”

Surely Fiske was “fortunate” for her experience, as she deemed it “the best day of my life.”

Students forced to seek new gym options

IMG_5797Ever since its original construction, the McCann Center has provided Marist students a free and convenient place to work out. However, its recent reconstruction has left students with very few options on campus to workout, and have forced many to not only travel off-campus to workout – but to pay.

The reconstruction of the McCann Center started in the summer of 2018, and is expected to be finished by the fall of 2019. This means that the only accessible parts of the McCann Center during this school year are the swimming pool, locker rooms, and basketball court – meaning no gym for students.

As an alternative, Marist set up a small gym in a tent located directly outside McCann, which is still free for students to use. But here’s the catch – due to the small size and limited equipment in the gym, the space is reserved for teams and athletes from 6 A.M. – 6 P.M., making it even tougher for non-athlete students.

Recently, Marist also created gym spaces in New Gartland Building D as well as the Marketplace (located near Upper West). However, like the tent, these spaces have significantly less space and equipment than the McCann Center once had.

Some students have decided to stick to these on-campus options, but the lack of space and equipment has caused issues.

“Since the McCann Center isn’t open this year I had to start going to the Marketplace gym space which is nice because it was redone, but sometimes it gets frustrating because since it’s small, if I go at a busy time I don’t get to do the workout I want to do,” said senior Sarah Rampulla. “Plus, the gym doesn’t have all of the equipment that the normal McCann Center had.”

These factors have led to many students seeking alternative options – many of which were off-campus and not free.

One popular option is Mike Arteaga’s Fitness Center located right across the street from Marist, in between Palace Diner and Rite Aid. Arteaga’s offers two reasonable options for students – a four-month membership for $140, or $13 every two weeks with a $40 service fee to be paid every three months.

“Arteaga’s has been a great alternative option for the McCann Center this year, as it’s close to campus, and has a ton of space and equipment that lets me complete my workouts pretty easily,” said senior Mike Ianelli. “The only downside of it is having to pay, which is frustrating considering we pay so much tuition at Marist and they can’t provide a better gym option.”

Another option students have chose is Crunch Fitness, located about 15 minutes down Route 9. Crunch offers a membership for $20 a month, which also includes a free guest and free hydro massage and tanning.

“I love the openness of Crunch, and I also love how new the equipment is and how clean the gym as a whole is,” said senior Nick Palumbo. “The only issue is that it’s a far commute and obviously that I have to pay instead of working out for free at McCann.”

Despite the inconvenience of the McCann reconstruction, students are doing everything they can to stay in shape.

Salsa Fresca spices up Marist area

For years, Marist students have been begging for a Chipotle to be built close to campus, as the closest one is in Fishkill – a 30-minute drive away. While they didn’t exactly get the Chipotle they were looking for, they got a very close alternative with the brand new addition of Salsa Fresca.

Salsa Fresca is a Mexican cuisine fast-food restaurant that opened near the Marist campus in late January. It was one of two restaurants to be opened in Dutchess County, as the other is located in LaGrangeville. Notably though, Salsa Fresca specializes in making burritos and burrito bowls – which now is the only option for that type of fast food within the area for Marist students.

In addition to burritos and burrito bowls, Salsa Fresca offers other types of made-to-order TexMex cuisine as well, including quesadillas, tacos, nachos, and salads.

The new Salsa Fresca replaced an old Quiznos in the mini complex off of North Rd., right across the street from the Beck parking lot and new science building. The addition has Marist students buzzing not only about the food, but the convenient location.

“Having a made-to-order burrito place so close to campus is awesome because the 30-minute trip to Chipotle has always been such a hassle,” said senior Nick Derosa. “No one ever wanted to make the long trip [to Chipotle], but now I guess they won’t have to. Plus the food is actually really good, it’s a perfect alternative to Chipotle.”

Senior Brandon O’Sullivan agreed.

“The location of Salsa Fresca is perfect, it’s virtually right on campus,” said O’Sullivan. “It’s convenient not only for off-campus students like me, but also for the underclassmen students still living in the dorms.”

While the proximity to campus has gotten many people talking, perhaps the most unique thing about Salsa Fresca is the promotions they run for students. For example, they offer $5 burritos and burrito bowls from 2-4PM every weekday for customers that present their student ID at the register.

“For me, the best thing about Salsa Fresca is the $5 burrito promotion for students that they run everyday,” said senior Nick Palumbo. “Money is always an issue for college students when choosing a place to go out to eat, so having a cheaper option makes Salsa Fresca all the more appealing.”

Another creative promotion Salsa Fresca ran was on January 25th, when every 50thcustomer they served earned free burritos for an entire year. Promotions like these have gotten the student population talking quite a bit, which has quickly turned Salsa Fresca into one of the most popular off-campus eating spots.

“I love all of the promotions that Salsa Fresca has been running, they have gotten a lot of people to the restaurant to try it” said sophomore Nicole Dencker. “Specifically, the ‘every 50th customer’ promotion was really cool, as that day everyone was going just to try to get free burritos for a year.”

It may not be a Chipotle, but Salsa Fresca has quickly established itself as one of the most popular, convenient, and cheapest food options for Marist students.