Community: As Brexit Rages On, Anger Is Now All That Unites Us.

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Regardless of which side of the EU fence you resided on, or, indeed, if you sat firmly astride said metaphorical barrier, the fallout from Thursday’s vote is still reverberating around the world.

The result is in. No, not that we are leaving the EU but that we, as a nation, are, almost precisely, split down the middle. Culturally speaking we are a country that is divided in two.

The social conversation surrounding Brexit is ugly. It’s unregulated. It’s lawless and largely anonymous. We’re angry and the best place for us to direct that anger, it would seem, is online. We’re defending ourselves either way. Defending our right to choose, or publicly distancing ourselves from what we feel is a colossal mistake.

Taking little solace in our democratic privilege, we are angry because of what we feel it tells us about the person we’re married to, or best friends with, or the person with whom we share an office. We are angry because we can’t fool ourselves that what we voted wasn’t emotionally charged – and that was often ugly in itself.  But mostly we are angry because we have no control over what comes next. These are the messages in the midst of so many memes, tweets and posts being shared over and over around the world.

But this comes as no great surprise to those who study the trends of social media. Researchers of social networking explain that anger is the most influential emotion for messages spreading across social media and the truth is, for the remain voters, anger is an important part of the EU departure process – grief.

Denial – No, this can’t be happening

Anger  – What the hell has just happened?!

Bargaining – Let’s start a petition

Depression – The loss of certainty

Acceptance – Making the best of it

Even though it was the Brexiters who were victorious last week, the anger is universal. They have been ridiculed and belittled, accused of racism and bigotry, whilst, arguably for some, forced to make an unwelcome choice, by their own government. And there’s fear. Because change is coming now – and they voted it for it – so there’s no turning back.

There was always going to be blame. And fear. And frustration, but we had already lost. Because ultimately there would be no winner, whichever way the chips fell. It’s hard to remember a modern time where the choice we had to make so vehemently pitted us against each other. Make no mistake, the vote divided us firmly into our tribes. We were segregated. In vs Out. England vs Europe. Us against Them. Ironically, we were all looking for change, but the problem was no-one really knew what that change should look like.

For now, tensions are high, the line has been drawn and we all know which side we’re on. This unregulated and lawless social community’s providing both the fuel to our angry fire and the convenient outlet to let it loose. Whilst anger both unites and divides us for now, the conversation is an important part of processing the necessary stages of EU grief.

And only through this, can we begin to put the pieces back together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Community: No Spotify for 25?

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Chatter: Adele’s new album 25 was released today. Amongst all the excitement is the discussion that potentially the album won’t feature of spotify, apple music and other streaming sources. According to The New York Times, the streaming services were advised less than 24 hours before release that 25 won’t be available for streaming.

Conversation: Following on from Taylor Swifts removal of her music from Spotify in protestation of its devaluing her music by making it available for free , the conversation has surrounded the fairness of the “Freemium” music streaming model.

At the moment, Adele’s reps have declined to comment. It could be possible that, like Beyonce before her, Adele may choose to release 25 to streaming services at a later point. As this is expected to be her most popular title to date, it may be that Adele and her team are waiting for the initial purchases to be made and promotional value to be reaped. That, at that point, there  will be less financial or artistic impact in allowing it to be downloaded for free.

Community: Fox & Friends v The Daily Show.

Following a video posted online by a Tennessee woman ranting that “leggings ain’t pants”,  Fox & Friends hosted a segment whereby three men were shown three women – in leggings – and were asked to judge whether they were appropriately dressed.

Kristen Schaal of The Daily Show did a witty but pertinent follow up in which she says: “Men Just Don’t Want Any Creeps Staring At Their Daughters The Way They’re About To Creepily Stare At Someone Else’s Daughters.” 

Every week, it would seem, there is another discussion in the US about how women and girls are dressed particularly in the school system.

The argument against banning certain items of clothing that officials deem to be “distracting” for boys is that, by this very action, female bodies are being sexualised. They become objects that need to be hidden or covered to ensure that they do not lead to males losing focus or misbehaving.

For both males and females this is disconcerting. The idea that women must be made aware that they hold some sort of mystical powers of distraction – which should be managed at all times- for fear that men are unable to, or not expected to, exert a form of self-control whereby women become less like objects is insulting all round And arguably, a very dangerous message.

With third-wave feminism maintaining its momentum and the “rape culture” narrative continuing through Social Media, this is a debate likely to rage on.

 

Image @ Fox and Friends

 

 

Community: Bloomingdales’ Blurred Lines

Chatter – Bloomingdales has been forced to apologise amidst the controversy surrounding an ad in its Holiday catalogue. Featuring a woman turned away whilst a man looks in her direction, the copy reads “Spike your best friend’s eggnog when they’re not looking.” Adding fuel to the fire is the uncanny resemblance of the male model to Robin Thicke, who along with Pharrell Williams received criticism for their Blurred Lines video which, it was argued, had undertones of sexual assault.

Conversation – Consent as an issue for both men and women is a hot topic. Brands must tread very carefully not to suggest anything but to be acceptable. Online/offline they are increasingly being held accountable for ensuring communications project positive images and in no way contradict the support for the heightened awareness around such issues.