Social feeds are awash in content to distract people from watching the rising vote tallies in what is perhaps the most consequential election of our time. The stress of not knowing when the final result will arrive has people looking for some zen amid the chaos.
All over the web people are posting sites and sounds that calm. Rather than obsessing over exit poll numbers, people are looking at rustling leaves, roller skaters gliding around to the sound of disco, and the gentle image of people throwing pots on a wheel. Others are sharing pictures of cute animals, pets, and family members. Think of it as an Election Day feed cleanse.
— Alex (@Kvamalex) November 3, 2020
— Becca Lewis (@beccalew) November 3, 2020
I just want to cleanse the TL before today gets crazy. My cousins beautiful little gay family. pic.twitter.com/yoV55iF4M0
— ur fave hoe (@BrightLikeSunny) November 3, 2020
It’s not just your average web denizen posting on Twitter. Some news organizations are publishing their own guides on how to combat election anxiety. Fast Company has a list of 21 ways to distract yourself, while The New York Times has published both a how-to on allaying election anxiety and an interactive feed of stress-relieving video clips. The latter is a visual brain massage: rain falling against a window, bits of mind numbing documentary, a knife cutting through wet sand.
— ABC News (@ABC) November 3, 2020
#ElectionDay2020 is here and we know it's a busy day for journalists in the United States and around the world. You won't get any reading material, think pieces, or hot takes from us today.
Just calming gifs and resources to cleanse your timeline. pic.twitter.com/5wRngx3NQq
— Nieman Lab (@NiemanLab) November 3, 2020
For NO REASON, I'm going to tweet a running list today of NICE THINGS that have appeared in the On Tech newsletter.
Here is a floofy and adorable newborn flamingo: https://t.co/R1QCHfYebq
(Deleted prior tweets with a busted video.)
— Shira Ovide (@ShiraOvide) November 3, 2020
This year has brought hundreds of thousands of deaths, lies, a pandemic, social upheaval, climate disasters, human rights abuses—truly an intolerable level of stressors. Sometimes the thing to soothes best is to listen to someone older and wise than you. Earlier this year, former President Obama tried to offer comfort to the class of 2020 about the world they were entering into as adults.
He said, “As scary and uncertain these times may be, they are also a wake-up call. And they’re an incredible opportunity for your generation.”
Take heart in good, calming memes and rest for the work ahead.