Springload NZ snowflakes

Solidarity and self-care in dangerous times

03 February 2017

2016 was the worst

At our client Christmas party last year, Bron gave an impassioned speech about, well, how craptastic 2016 had been, from a political, environmental, and global POV. We all laughed at the time, drinks clinking, expletives flying, because we thought surely 2017 would be better.

One month into 2017, and the team here could seriously use another drink or 20, to take the edge off our newsfeeds. Working in the digital space means we’re plugged in and online all the time. So, logging out of Twitter, FB, etcetera is pretty impossible when we have to stay in the know. We do, however, have some antidotes for the dread we feel, which we’ll share with you at the end of this post.

Just feel those feels

We use slack to communicate internally here. We have channels dedicated to projects, but we also use it to chat and share our thoughts, opinions, and feels.

The recent Twitter battle between Wellington local Jemaine Clement and Scott Baio (yup, THAT guy from THAT show Charles in Charge), inspired some of our staff to comment on how frustrating it is to see the term ‘snowflake’ get tossed around in the Alt-right (oh, let’s just call it white supremacist) circles. Some of us are angry, a lot of us are sad, and these are valid feelings in the face of what’s happening in the world, America in particular.

So, are we snowflakes? According to the Collins Dictionary,  the insult ‘snowflake’ refers to ‘the young adults of the 2010s, viewed as being less resilient and more prone to taking offence than previous generations’.

Well, first of all, not all of us are young adults (I’m looking at you, Alan). But, all of us are finding the global situation quite reminiscent of the eighties which is not where we thought we’d end up again.

And so, we want to do stuff about it. Now, you might think it’s none of our business because we’re in NZ. Or, what the hell does a digital company in Wellington think they’re going to change. Like Jemaine said when he was challenged about why he entered the discussion with Drumpf supporters in the first place, “these things are important” and as one of the most diverse businesses in tech with talent from France, South Africa, Brazil, Canada, Scotland, the Philippines and the UK, we want to say that it’s precisely this diversity that makes Springload better as a business. Immigrants, refugees, and expats make our communities stronger.

Let’s do stuff

Feeling helpless and angry about the world right now is very common, no matter what country you live in. But there are plenty of proactive actions we can all take to help alleviate these negative feelings.

In Wellington, if you'd like to eat food whilst supporting refugees (who doesn't?!), order from The Pomegranate Kitchen - an awesome local project that gives refugees employment making delicious meals from their countries of origin. They cater functions and have recently introduced a lunch delivery option for businesses in the CBD.  

Our newest Springload member, Ruth, found the advice on the Double the Quota really helpful for turning what felt like a maelstrom of rage, fear and sadness rampaging through her brain into some concrete actions. Doing Our Bit is their campaign to double New Zealand’s refugee quota and funding. Launched on World Refugee Day (20 June) 2013, the campaign is led by Murdoch Stephens, and his small volunteer team based in Wellington. His e-book has plenty of suggestions on how you can get involved, from sharing and liking on Facebook to writing opinion pieces for your newspaper.

Want to take it next level? Volunteer with the New Zealand Red Cross and help newcomers get settled here. Volunteers are essentially guides who help families and individuals enrol with schools and doctors, help build a connection through social visits, and generally explain how life works here in NZ.   

Participating in what remains of the social institutions that matter to you, whether that be political organisations, unions, media (ie Scoop Foundation), Rotary, or the local community garden, is good for your head and your heart.

Be kind to yourself, too

Chocolate trumps everything

Self-care is the art of self-preservation. Make time for the good things in your life, whether that means scoffing down the latest Whittaker’s block, play-fighting with your kids, starting a fantasy book club at your workplace, fermenting some homemade kimchi, or listening to pre-90s heavy metal from your youth.

None of this might prepare you for the anxiety of reading your newsfeed, but all of it eases the nagging sense of doom somehow. Go on. Be a snowflake. No two are exactly alike, so do what you need to do to feel better about 2017. Oh and just one more thing about the mighty flake: a bunch of snowflakes united have the potential to turn into an avalanche. Power to all the snowflakes fighting the good fight.

What are you doing to avoid being psychologically destroyed by your newsfeed? Share your tips and tricks with us! Want to know more about our commitment to diversity? Check out our talent.