Mapping The #NewNormal
Every so often these days, you find yourself focusing on a problem you didn’t have before. But one that now feels extremely necessary and urgent.
Like buying an extra freezer because food shopping is becoming a challenge and you’d rather do it only every other week; or shaving your head because barber shops will be closed for the foreseeable future; or fixing your old bike because the new one has been stolen and there’s no way you’re getting on public transport right now with a pregnant wife at home.
Meanwhile, new laws are being drafted to empower deeper alterations of our everyday life, in the hope that decisiveness and speed are going to match the power of virality and help us go back to normal.
But the reality is, we won’t be going back.
Agência DPZ&T & McDonald’s Brazil – March 2020
Not for a long time, at least. And even towards the end of this crisis, it won’t be going back to ‘normal’. It will be going back to a ‘new normal’, a normal that is being shaped right now by all the new challenges, questions and decisions that we are suddenly facing and that we have never faced before, at least in peace time.
Most of the coverage, debate and analysis these days is focused on the medical emergency and the political response. But while those interventions unfold, the broadest and deepest cultural and behavioral shifts we have ever witnessed are reshaping our societies from the bottom-up.
Everything is on the line: the way we work, the way we eat, the way we love, the way we trust, the way we do friendship, the way we dress, the way we exercise, the way we learn, the way we shop, the way we have fun, the way we parent, the way we plan, the way we make money, the way we spend it, the way we enjoy music, the way we see others. The way we live.
HELP WANTED: What is the best term to coin for the phenomenon wherein exes use coronavirus as an excuse to hit you up and rekindle things? The majority of unmarried women in their 30s/40s I know have been experiencing this and we need a word for it. Bad puns a plus.
— Caroline McCarthy 🧢 (@caro) March 22, 2020
— Nina Restieri (@momAgenda) March 17, 2020
At Pulsar we are in a privileged position to see these changes happening in real-time. As society retreats online to take cover from the virality of the physical world, our digital spaces have become the frontier of a new reality that is taking shape everyday.
That’s why we decided to launch “Mapping The New Normal”, a research initiative that over the next few months will explore how our way of life is changing in response to the Coronavirus emergency.
Every week we’ll be sharing snapshots pointing the spotlight on interesting cultural shifts, crafting insights using data from social media, search, news and web analytics. You can check out our new normal trends dashboard collecting the trends we are exploring.
We’ll publish our work on our blog and social channels but we’re also working on a series of online events to come together and discuss the findings.
As always, we’re open to collaborating with brands, agencies, media organisations and academic institutions so if you want to take part in this initiative, please do reach out (info [at] pulsarplatform.com) and help us build the most dynamic and comprehensive map of what thousands of people are already calling the New Normal.