Toxic Fallout


It’s day three, post the EU referendum result. The sun rose and set yesterday, and the day before, as I’m sure it will today. The world goes on, but one look at social media and one may think that the apocalypse has begun.

I love writing blogs, but in all honesty I hadn’t planned on writing a follow-up post to the EU referendum, regardless of the result. Not because I didn’t care, but because there are other things in life that are, frankly, far more important to me. That said, I feel that I need to say something about the state of our toxic attitudes than primarily manifest their ugly heads on social media…

Firstly, let me just point out that I’m not coming at this with a faultless record. I’m as frustrated by opposing views as everyone else. Perhaps more so in some cases. But guilt in this has to be shared by us all, as does the solution. The state of our social media walls and feeds are frankly horrendous. When our children look back in years to come, it’s not going to put much reassurance that their parents have their heads screwed-on the right way.

The main catalyst for this increased aggressive posting: politics. Not just general or local election, but an issue presenting a polar question – IN or OUT of the EU. With various degrees of conviction, the entire voting population would be decided into two. The fallout was inevitable as the case for each cause became more and more relentless in putting their point across.

Both the IN and OUT parties presented aggressive and, at times, fictional arguments to get their points across. But the one thing that all head campaigners recognised was that post June 23rd, the debate would end and the next step was to act on the decision, however unpreferable it would be for the opposing party. All the more reason, perhaps, why towards the end of the campaign the intensity of adverts, posts and interviews turned even more toxic.

Suddenly, June 24th, the campaigners stopped. But the culture that they had now introduced wouldn’t just ‘stop’. The toxicity that was (mostly) no longer being churned out by the politicians suddenly landed square in media’s court. And sadly, the media jumped at the chance.

It started early on the 24th, when the news cycles started to mix the facts with their own opinions mildly. Then came the printed papers (the epitome of unfounded rumour mills) stirring the pot with either aggressive jubilation ‘in the face of the losers’ or cynical slyness in the face of their opinionated defeat. Between the two, they would leave us uncomfortable and angry at the comments being made – no matter which way we voted.

When pressure builds up high enough – there needs to be a vent to let it out. To those who have more wisdom than others, social media is a no-no when it comes to venting. But we all, to a degree, have a breaking point. And I don’t blame anyone for turning to social media to express their frustration at the situation in a scenario of this magnitude.

The following ramifications can be seen by simply opening up Facebook and seeing the fallout for yourself. In some ways, this very post is one of the ramifications.

Now, I’m not going to fight the side of my opinion and I’m not going to be forced to justify my vote. But I am going to point the finger. Not at you, not at me, but at the media.

I am sick and tired of our culture being dictated to by sick psychopaths at the top of the media hierarchy. Their subtle physiological reporting has resulted in friend turning against friends, stranger against stranger at a time when our country – our world – needs it most. All so that networks keep their viewing figures up and that papers can keep churning out their printed excrement. The catchphrase of this referendum us unquestionably been ‘scaremongering’, both sides guilty of it. But far more so – the media post result as the are quick to post instant results, tinted by opinion, before considering there ramifications of what they are saying.

So, at the end of this referendum process, I remind myself to think before I post. To hope before I judge and to question the source of my information before I base my opinion on anything.

To anyone who voted differently to me, nothing has changed. I still love and appreciate you. To those who report own news channels and papers. Sort yourselves out. You should be ashamed of yourselves. And let’s pull ourselves together. Whether you’ve got yourself a dream world to live in now, or it’s suddenly become a nightmare, complaining really won’t change anything. We’re the United Kingdom, dammit, let’s unite and get on with this.