cross-pollination

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?

Remix Culture: Cross-Pollinating With Our Pluralism

This month we're acknowledging that where we come from counts (see this urban psychology article on the geography of temperament, and take this quiz to pinpoint how to make life choices "congruent with your temperament") -- and by bringing what we uniquely have to offer, we're cross-pollinating the culture. And we extra-extra-extra love to hear this => Pluralism is always practical: when we draw on our own mixed identities we're more creative!

+++++ AT expat+HAREM

Meanwhile a Third Culture Kid and food activist in Colorado says no to the American predilection for huge cups of coffee consumed in the car, and yes to the communion found in ethnic dining rituals from her childhood and travels.

An American born and raised in Japan finds a way to bridge the cultural divide through the whimsical folk art of etegami.

So much good stuff coming our way, impossible to share it all....here's another way to get on the same page with us: we're now attempting to round up the zillions of resonant links that fly past us every day -- like these ones about global careers, and international politics and the hybrid souls we all possess.

+++++ AROUND THE WORLD & AROUND THE WEB

If you're in New York on the 25th, don't miss an evening about "How to Run the World & Hybrid Reality", presented by expat+HAREM's global nomad salon coproducer Janera Soerel. Global adventurer-scholar Parag Khanna and his wife Ayesha will introduce their new institute exploring human-tech co-evolution.

And for the collectors, from the filmmaker, author, producer, and musician known as DJ Spooky comes this compilation of essays examining 500 years of collaborative creation, "from the history of stop-motion photography to Muslim influences on early hip-hop."

+++++ YOUR THOUGHTS

What are you remixing in your personal culture?