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LOOK HOW THEY GROW Charting the expansion of major social media sites based on daily active users

INSTAGRAM QUOTES ARE THE DEATH OF COMPLEX THOUGHT

2016 313 Million 2012 185 Million

2012 1 Billion

Tim Philbin, College of the Holy Cross

When troubles inevitably befall human beings, they tend to respond in a variety of ways. Some seek counsel from their friends, others retreat into solitude and still others seem to be possessed by an irresistible urge to write mind-bogglingly dumb quotes on Instagram. I’m talking specifically here about the “inspirational” brand of Instagram quotes; I don’t have a particular objection to ones that are simply trying to get a laugh. My issue with the former, however, is that they tend to treat some of the most complicated, nuanced and difficult issues in life as if they had a simple answer. Allow me share some of my favorites: “Forget all the reasons why it won’t work and believe the one reason that it will”; “Decide, Commit, Succeed”; and my personal favorite, “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay it’s not the end.” All these quotes are variations on the same vapid, poorly reasoned maxim: Stop thinking and do whatever you want. But this is patently ridiculous. All lives are filled with hardship, angst and indecision, but simple common sense should dictate that the proper response is not to shut your brain off and do whatever you want. I can see why it might be tempting to flee into self-delusion and pretend that “everything will be okay in the end,” but, when the unprepared mindset meets unwelcome reality, this way of thinking only leads to suffering.

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There are better ways to approach your problems than by following the advice of Instagram quotes; great thinkers have been pondering these questions for millennia: Plato, Aristotle, Seneca, Jesus, the Buddha; they all faced the same problems that you and I face and discovered reasonable, practical ways to overcome them. True, their wisdom is rarely compressible into a witty aphorism, but then again, if there’s one valuable lesson to be learned from Instagram quotes, it’s that genuine wisdom rarely is.

2016 1.7 Billion

2016 313 Million

2016 450 Million 2012 202 Million

2012 185 Million

2016 555 Million 2016 500 Million

2012 34.2 Million

2012 40 Million

2016 200 Million

HARVARD LEADS ALL COLLEGES WITH

166K

2012 50 Million

INSTAGRAM FOLLOWERS

LINKEDIN IS THE NEW (AND IMPROVED) FACEBOOK Sofia Rivera, Simmons College

It was an insidious infiltration. Scrolling through your newsfeed you saw a baby picture and thought, “What’s that baby doing on Facebook?” Then you saw a “copy&paste this” status and it was clear: Facebook is no longer solely a student domain. Parents have joined and are — feeling excited.

Study Breaks Magazine November Austin  
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