First, I want to acknowledge that in some ways, I am fortunate. My race is not as obvious to a first glance. I have a multiracial background and I have the ability to pass as white. I have a name that sounds white on a resume. I grew up in the suburbs in an affluent neighborhood. I had a good education. This is privilege.
This past weekend thousands of seniors moved their tassels from left to right to celebrate their high school and/or college graduations. However, due to the pandemic, most of these graduations took place online for the first time. Numerous schools across the U.S. hosted online commencement ceremonies. While some schools took the traditional Zoom route, a school that stood out was UC Berkeley which got creative and hosted a commencement ceremony in the most unlikely of places--Minecraft.
Social distancing has taken a toll on down-ballot (local) political candidates with their 2020 campaigns, which traditionally have been based on grassroots, in-person approaches. With those outlets now closed off, they are depending on solely digital campaigns and tapping into a (new) different skill set: engaging in conversation strictly and consistently on Zoom calls, Facebook/Instagram live streams, and other social media platforms.
The Travis Scott Astronomical concert tour on Fortnite pulled in 27.7M participants over 5 events. For comparison, Lady Gaga's Together At Home concert that aired across multiple channels and featured many guest acts garnered only 20.7M US viewers.
If you’ve been on Instagram Stories over the last 4 weeks, you’ve likely seen a surge in challenges. You know the ones. A friend tags you with a prompt to draw an orange, do 10 pushups, or (my personal favorite) send a photo of a dog.
From Instagram meme accounts like @TanksGoodNews to Google searches for "good news," interest in uplifting news and stories has skyrocketed. People looking for a counterbalance in their feeds and browsers have gotten a much-needed emotional boost from positive headlines, memes, and newsletters.
I hope you’re well. I hope that hand-washing and face-not-touching and hoarding of toilet paper has kept you safe. I hope that multiple Zoom windows don’t haunt your dreams. That a simple disagreement between you and your midtown roommate hasn’t festered into a rancid and incurable divide. And I hope you forgive me for finding a silver lining to this pandemic.
We’re entering into a period of economic recession. Industries are coming to a standstill as people are restricted in how and where they spend. The undercurrent of anxiety and fear in a COVID-19 world is – without hyperbole – changing society. In these uncertain times, when companies are weighing up their options to stay viable and cash flow is critical, it’s easy to dismiss branding as an area of focus; it’s a long-term play, not a short-term promotion.
This week in politics: State of the Union Address, the final impeachment vote, Iowa caucus, Democratic debates and primaries. It’s exhausting to think about, and with months of political posturing ahead, people could be forgiven for wanting a break from it all.