Mourning in the morning; American election social media commentary


The process of grief, or rather out pourings of grief, on social media was the topic of this blog https://charlierobinson.wordpress.com/2015/07/03/social-media-and-grief/ after a major event occurred here in Adelaide.

But we’ve witnessed a different style now. Let’s call it mourning.

America voted and the results left many people shocked, bewildered, amazed, dazed and sad. It has been an incredible process.

The American Presidential race is big.

For starters it goes for about 18 months and that in itself sounds exhausting.

But let’s consider;

Sustaining a lay-persons interest, a position in the trending news poll, an excitement level to have (near enough) 50mil people vote – even if many more again don’t – is incredible.

All hail to anyone who has the stamina.

Reference: http://www.statisticbrain.com/voting-statistics/

During the election process, there were conversations around fixed trending news feeds (even ones Mark Zuckerberg responded to), claims of click bait and fixed media, fixed this and fixed that. The squabbles generally added to the overall media frenzy. It really is the biggest case of bullying the world has ever witnessed. Ironically this is something the incoming FLOTUS has named as her mission to sort out – bullying online. Let’s start with the entire parliament for that hey? However, we digress.

Here in Australia, we got pretty much what the broad based news outlets wanted us to see (of course).

However, the more interesting articles slipped through via the connections made with the ease of social media networking. It didn’t seem to make any difference; everyone was still certain the election results would fall a particular way.

But they didn’t.

We all got it wrong. (Well, except for a few clever ones, sure.)

So, when we woke, the morning after the results, we mourned.

Mourned seems the appropriate word, as people felt regret.

Regret for Americans (because they had surely picked the wrong person?), regret we couldn’t help and regret for the dire scenario the rest of the world now faced.

Or so we are led to believe.

This regret was witnessed via the social medias in many curious ways. Namely;

  1. First and foremost, there was a deep hush across the social media platforms. The memes didn’t come, the backlash humour was missing and people got serious.
  2. Secondly, the trending news feed changed to mainly sport. Curious hey? Did you notice that? There were no Kardashians, no new songs, no ‘gos’ deflecting our attention (aside from that one attempt by GAGA – perhaps she had gone gaga?). And sport does have to continue regardless – they have timelines.
  3. And finally, everyone got serious. The ‘what now’ media articles were shared, commented on and discussed. The world got serious. In an eery, quiet and determined way.

The real what next is precisely that. What next?

There is another voting round (the electoral college), an outcome and then the new year. However, from the words of Obama himself, the sun will come up in the morning.

Reference: http://www.enchantedlearning.com/vote/presidential_elections.shtml

Let’s hope it is to the sunflowers beaming, not a continued mourning.

Bring on the cute cats. And memes.

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