The Bellyflops of Social Media Mismanagement

On the precipice of war, overreaching false cosmopolitanism continues. Plus, parents plan for unsustainable digital abstinence.

 

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The overreaching false cosmopolitanism continues. Read my sadly-still-fresh take here.

Today the Kenneth Cole Twitter account tweeted something thoughtless about "Boots on the ground" or not, don't forget about sandals and loafers.

Nope.

Boots on the ground are soldiers going to war  possibly to be maimed or killed, and to wreak havoc on the lives of others. The precipice of war is not an opportunity to remind people you make loafers.

 

Feels like deja vu for Cole. Because it is. The brand flopped just like this in 2011.

At that time I made the connection between global mishaps of high profile brands and the false cosmopolitanism we’re all suffering

There was Groupon’s SuperBowl ad fiasco, when the company attempted to mix consumerism with sensitive political, environmental, cultural, economic and social issues, and the Kenneth Cole Twitter debacle which appeared to make light of unrest in Cairo.

In 2010, I wrote about earlier instances of the phenomenon of false cosmopolitanism, inspired by Ethan Zuckerman and Jen Stefanotti's work on the topic.

We've got a culture problem on our hands. Access to the worldwide web makes us imagine we’re global thinkers. But we’re not. Not even close.

In order to truly be global thinkers, we’d have to be xenophiles, actively and constantly bridging cultures, immersed and knowledgeable about multiple worlds.

 

Most people hang out in “like-minded microcosms” and when we cross a boundary online the new light shed on everyone’s prejudices and assumptions can take us by surprise.

This “xeno-confusion” is happening more often in the virtual realm, with higher and higher stakes.

Today’s other big story of social media mismanagement has been swiftly answered by Alexandra Samuel of Love Your Life Online. It falls into the category of unsustainable digital abstinence to solve problems that may crop up in the future.

"Don't be scared to Facebook your kids," she responds to Amy Webb's piece at Slate "We Post Nothing About Our Daughter Online."

Samuel writes: "Parenthood is such a central experience that there’s no way to cut it out of your online life without profoundly compromising your own ability to have authentic, meaningful connections online."

That’s exactly right. Plus, digital abstinence doesn’t prepare you for the world your child will grow up in.

How are you preparing yourself for a wider world?