Mythical Millennial #12: Let’s get po-li-ti-cal, li-ti-cal

Hey pals. When we last spoke, the world was on the brink of finding out who would be the next President of the US of A. Needless to say, some of us were pretty surprised by the result. The divisions of our society are now laid bare before us, wearing a Trump mask blowing raspberries in our faces. The lingering question is: how did we get this so wrong?

Perhaps we need to burst our social media bubble. You can now mute specific words in your Instagram comments (no more 🐍 emojis for Taylor Swift), Twitter accounts have ‘quality’ filters and Facebook etiquette dictates that instead of unfriending your friend who posts alt-right white supremacist-friendly Pepe the Frogs, you merely ‘unfollow’ their posts. Ah, ignorance. It was bliss until it wasn’t.

Something else we can’t ignore: the very real problem of fake news on Facebook. Zuckerberg. Mah man. I’ve been meaning to write to you about diversifying your wardrobe a little but now we’ve got bigger fish to fry. Yeah you may be introducing some minor improvements, sure. But your company is responsible for the dissemination of false information. Buzzfeed reports that in the final three months of the US presidential campaign, the top-performing fake election news stories on Facebook generated more engagement than pieces from major, legitimate publications. Yikes.

I’ve spoken about our post-truth society before, but the problem only seems to be getting worse. In a world where the general public has chosen to embrace the news they want to hear over reality, it is down to the rest of us, clinging on to some semblance of reality, to start picking up the pieces.

“Special snowflake”. Now that’s an insult that cuts all millennials to the core. It’s a strangely hurtful insult to anyone of our generation, with its origins from the overly-quoted novel Fight Club: “You are not special. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You are the same organic and decaying matter as everyone else.”

Picture a crochety baby boomer telling a thumb-sucking millennial to “stop being such a special snowflake and grow up already.” Calling someone a ‘special snowflake’ implies they demand special treatment when they don’t deserve it. That they’re weak. Privileged. Entitled. Sound familiar?

To all my fellow special snowflakes out there: I implore you to embrace it. Put ‘special snowflake’ on your new cross-stitch project with a huge middle finger. Slap it on a customised mug. Hire a freakin’ sky-writer. Because reclaiming the term ‘special snowflake’ is the only way for us to withstand a world with such a distressing lack of empathy.

I caught Frank Hamilton at a recent Sofar Sounds gig, and his music warms my awkward heart.

Things I Do by Frank Hamilton

Huge shout-out to two Internet-y things that have helped tremendously with my journey towards better self-care in a apocalyptic 2k16.

  1. The 🎈 bouncycastle 🎈 newsletter run by Sami, Darth, Josh and Jonny, filled with things that will make you smile.
  2. Another @jonnysun project: the @tinycarebot. It tweets tiny self-care reminders and will even @reply you with a personalised one if you tweet at it.

Take care of yourselves, all, and wrap up warm. This winter is looking to be a chilly one.
B x

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Originally published on Mythical Millennial.

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