2020 is arguably a polarising year. The year ignited fires where amber skies dominated and was dubbed “One of the Worst Fires Season Ever”. President Trump ordered the assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, which sparked many WW3 memes. However, the biggest hurdle was an invisible virus from Wuhan, China which, threw the world into a frenzy. Unbeknownst to the world, the virus travelled from China and made it’s way throughout the major capital cites in Asia and eventually multiplied rapidly across world. World Health Organisation (WHO) declared it a “pandemic.” A new era was born. Practices from pre-COVID times are no longer.
Professor Frank M. Snowden, a Yale medical historian whose life’s work is to study how epidemics/ pandemics shapes social evolution. The medical historian ensembled and document how past plagues and pandemic such as the bubonic plague and smallpox to modern plagues such as SARS and Ebola, and deduce three major social consequences- mass hysteria, scapegoating and violence.
When corporations are in times of crisis, famed Public Relations Executive, Leonard Saffir once said, “In crisis management, be quick with the facts and slow with the blame.” Unfortunately for Theranos, that was not the case.
The disgraced blood diagnostic company was always shrouded in secrecy and was never transparent about how their products worked, which ultimately led to its demise. Their strategy was to be not be transparent about their products and fabricate lies to shareholders, in order to invest in their start-up.
Through the lens of crisis communication management, Theranos has failed to mitigate its crisis.
In the age of social media, identity is performance. A performance where you showcase the shiny parts of you. Kumbaya. Life is a utopia.
How do you know it a utopia?
The social media ecosystem. Instagram uses simple affordances such as “Likes” and “Comments” to increase the engagement of post or profile picture as signifies approval from others. The algorithm determines the ranking of the object in question and depending on its mood it would accelerate or decelerate on the Instagram totem pole.
Although it is part of the social media equation, there is a participation aspect to it. The user feels like they need to present themselves in a certain way to gain social capital and engagement.
A look into dating through the eyes of a jaded yet hopeful 25 year old with limited experience.
Dating is a probability game. A game that involves shedding your socially acceptable façade and opening up your heart to a person and asking that them to love you with warts and all. However, in the modern era of digital inter-webs, there is an abundance of potential mates waiting for you at your fingertips through apps such as Bumble, Tinder, Coffee Meets Bagels and Hinge. All at your disposal.
It is no surprise that 2020 is a year of awakening. The 2019 Bush fires set ablaze Australia. Last week in amidst of a pandemic, America is ablaze with rage over another murder of a black man in the hands of yet another policeman.
A message popped up the group chat with a video of a police man kneeling his knee on the neck of an African-American man
‘I can’t breathe’ “Mama” “Mama” “Please stop”, he pleaded, while he gasped for air.
Bystanders on the side pleading the officer to get off him.
“His nose is bleeding.” “Please get off him.”
Until one bystander pointed out, ‘You’re enjoying this, aren’t you?”
After a few minutes, the arrested stopped breathing. Pleas escalated into desperate cries.
“Check his pulse.”
A few minutes later, the ambulance arrived, and a man’s lifeless body carried onto a stretcher. The video cuts there.
The deceased black man was George Floyd, and he is the catalyst of the ongoing protests and riot in all major American cities and around the world at this very moment. His killer is Derek Chauvin. There was three other police officer, including Asian- American did not intervene or stop Derek.