I recently became aware of this word. It sounds very strange to me, but it turned out that I was more familiar with it than I thought. This German word is viable in the English language, according to Merriam Webster, and it is defined as “the general intellectual, moral, and cultural climate of an era.” We call it the spirit of the time in my language, which I belive is a direct translation.
I have been concerned with the unwillingness some people have to accept individual differences, including what I see as a misunderstanding of the term tolerance. I don’t know if this is a manifestation of the same, but I recently secured my first facebook angry face, as a reaction to the post Cosplay for creepy men.
I’m a member of a facebook group where members are invited to share and debate posts about social issues, communication and culture. Some of the other members read my posts, but I hardly ever know what they think about my texts. An angry face is a novelty because this is definitely showing an interest.
Many people were relieved because dislike was not one of the options when facebook expanded the like button a few months ago. The five emojis are universal and are supposed to allow us to express what we feel and think about something that was shared on facebook. I can say a lot of things about a society where the words are disappearing, a society that seems to prefer nonverbal communication, but at least the mentioned facebook reader used her range of emotions, and by doing so she didn’t ignore my post. That’s progress, I suppose.
Regarding the current zeitgeist there seems to be a strong expectation, and sometimes even a demand, that everyone follows the same thought pattern. I think this attitude is behind a lot of what is happening in my country at the moment, but it is perhaps most clearly demonstrated in the refugee debate, medicating children, the born in the wrong body-issues and religion in Norway.