Resilience Culture

type - features
category - society
sector - health & wellness
sector - travel & hospitality
We have been living in an age of self-censorship, hyper-safe spaces and social comfort zones. But as global anxieties abound, a countermovement of resilience is breaking through

This bubble-wrapped existence isn’t working. Personal dissatisfaction and anxiety remain prominent issues, and the American Psychiatric Association reports that 39% of US adults felt more anxious in 2018 than the previous year. As Greg Lukianoff, co-author of The Coddling of the American Mind, says, 'We are teaching a generation the habits of anxious, depressed and polarised people, and then we’re surprised that they are anxious, depressed and polarised.'

To help consumers break out of their mental and physical cocooning, counter-movements are materialising around the world. Schools are exposing pupils to controversial topics, the workplace is putting failure in the spotlight and the technology we rely on is turning its back on us. Coinciding with this sense of dislocation, simmering citizen discontent has ignited our streets and social feeds, embodied most recently by France’s gilet jaunes demonstrations, Venezuela’s political and presidential unrest, and Extinction Rebellion’s global climate change movement.

‘At a time when a lot of people are experiencing greater pressures and austerity, there’s a need for both resilience and a pathway for building it,’ Chris Johnstone, author of Seven Ways to Build Resilience, tells LS:N Global. ‘One reason is frustration tolerance – our ability to tolerate the difficult feelings that come up when there’s a reality gap between how things are and how we’d like them to be.’

This widening reality gap, driven by social media, news reportage and education, combined with these global counter-movements, have revealed an urgent desire for change that begins with humans themselves. Now, consumers are embracing physical, mental and intellectual risk to re-assert their sense of self, their place in society and their collective strength.

Powering the rise of Resilience Culture, brands and institutions are driving this new movement, providing the challenges that will force us to recover, cope and transform, amplifying our largely untapped resilience in order to thrive.

Published by:

3 November 2020

Author: Kathryn Bishop, Holly Friend and Jessica Smith

Image: Front cover of Aesthetica magazine, February / March issue. Photography by Matias Alonso Revelli


Disposable Kintsugi. Photo by Mathery Studio

Censorship Society

We live in a culture where being offended by others is the norm, and censorship and trigger warnings are rife. This attitude transcends age, race, beliefs and political stances, but is undoubtedly linked to the internet. ‘We’re over-stimulated and hyper-vigilant for any misstep,’ says Dyanne Brown, writer at The Good Men Project. ‘We wait breathlessly… ready to highlight the comments of anyone who expresses an opinion outside of our acceptable guidelines.’

For example, Gab, the social network popular with the far right for allowing extreme speech, was temporarily shut down when service providers PayPal and GoDaddy refused to work with it because of content deemed offensive. Morality has become a defining part of this censorship society. Generation Z and Millennial viewers have taken to social platforms to slam tv series Friends and The Simpsons for racist, homophobic and fat-shaming content, claiming it makes them uncomfortable. In late 2018, Tumblr banned adult or erotic content, with CEO Jeff D’Onofrio stating ‘without this content we have the opportunity to create a place where more people feel comfortable expressing themselves.'

While many people have found safety in censorship, it has created a belief that unpopular opinions must remain internalised. This is particularly affecting young people, who feel unable to express their views for fear of disrepute. In the US, 54% of students have stopped themselves from sharing an idea or opinion with classmates, while 30% have self-censored in class because of concerns that their words will offend others (source: Fire and YouGov). ‘Feelings and experiences once considered part of everyday life, such as being offended by someone’s political views, are now more likely to be treated as detrimental to mental health,’ explains Clay Routledge, author and behavioural scientist.

Avoidance Generation

To avoid confrontation, conversation or action, many of today’s adults opt out of modern commitments altogether. They stay at home instead of socialising and quit jobs when the going gets tough.

According to psychologist Brad E Sachs, the fear of missing out (FOMO) that once defined experience-chasing young people has evolved into something else: ‘FOMO is better understood as ‘fear of moving out’, the fretful feelings associated with departure from home and the need to begin journeying towards self-sufficiency.’

This is recognised in the US, with 33% of 25–29-year-olds still living at home in 2016 – almost three times as many as in 1970 (source: Pew Research Center). Even socialising with friends is being swapped for home comforts, with 55% of American consumers drinking at home because they believe it takes too much effort to go out (source: Mintel).

‘In the US, 30% of students have self-censored in class because of concerns that their words will offend others ’
Fire and YouGov

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