Confession: I am obsessed with the dress.
I can’t get enough. I Google it every few hours to see what colour it’s going to be (blue and black for the moment). I read my friend’s Facebook posts, devour what the media and neuroscientists have to say and, yes, I know what colour Rob Lowe and Julianne Moore think the dress is.
I particularly love the stir the damn dress has caused.
As Jonathan Mahler of the New York Times says: “The Internet, and social media in particular, are known for accelerating and accentuating divisions. In a sense, the dress debate was no different. It, too, hinged on a matter of perception. Only in this case, the polarization wasn’t ideological, or political, or racial. It was physical, based on how our brains were processing visual information. And it was harmless.”
Obsessions aside, the dress debate highlights some serious communication lessons.
While an obvious one is the power of social media as Mahler states, what’s less obvious is why this particular social media post took off the way it did.
Everyone wants to make connections, to take campaigns viral, to gain mindshare. And the dress did it overnight without trying. Why?
I think it’s because a) it wasn’t a contrived sell b) it was a simple concept and c) there was built-in controversy over something so very personal … how we each perceive the world.
I’d hate to live in a world where we all saw things the same. But, because we don’t, I’d suggest it’s important to constantly remind ourselves that our perceptions are almost always different, so we must communicate effectively – through authentic messaging and various mediums – to find common ground.
So while we know now that the dress is, in truth, blue and black, I say the one clear finding from the great dress debate is nothing is black and white.
PS. If you haven’t heard of “The Dress” have a look: http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-31659395
Inspired by a little blackcoffee
Some of my favourite moments are spent in search of something beautiful while I drink my first cup of coffee and hear the house wake up. From there I move on to the paper and the news of the day. In this space, I’ll share some of those inspirations.
Now that's some good advice
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