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Have you heard about...#beigeflags?

Have you heard about...#beigeflags?

Thursday 17 August 2023

Have you heard about...#beigeflags?

Thursday 17 August 2023

Have you heard about #beigeflags? Unless you’ve eschewed all Internet jargon with a firm hand, you’ll almost certainly know what a #redflag is (behaviour which sets alarm bells ringing), and by extension a #greenflag (behaviour which indicates someone is a good egg) – but perhaps #beigeflags still elude you.

The latest addition to the strange language of semaphore applied to modern dating, a #beigeflag is awarded for behaviour which is neither red, nor green, neither necessarily good nor bad.

A straight-down-the-middle-of-the-road kind of action, notable enough to warrant its own flag, but not notable enough to change someone’s opinion of you either favourably, or unfavourably. 

The trend has gained traction on TikTok, where people are sharing the so-called #beigeflag of their partner, friend or themselves by detailing some slightly strange habit that they have. 

Some examples I have seen recently: 

“My boyfriend’s beige flag is that he sets timers instead of alarms. It’s midnight and he needs to wake up at 6?He’ll set a six-hour timer.” - @cat.elizabeth 

“One of my beige flags is that in the summer I really enjoy something I like to call ‘lizard time’, where I sit in my hot car for a few minutes and defrost from whichever aggressively air conditioned building I just left by pretending I’m a little lizard on a hot rock and I don’t have any responsibilities except to be warm.” - @emceemaddy  

“My girlfriend’s beige flag is that she doesn’t know how to sum up her day. She will tell me every single little thing that happened. She went down the elevator? She told me. Held the door for someone? I know about it. One time it took her two hours to finish telling me about her day.” - @cascade111 

When you think about it, all of the social media algorithms are designed to promote content which either divides material or promotes either #redflag or #greenflag behaviour. So, trying to see the comment section handle content that is supposedly about a behaviour which should basically spark indifference is quite funny.   

Obviously, this wouldn’t be a trend if everyone was indifferent about these various #beigeflags. For every person who considers someone in their life’s storytelling style or quirky habit to be something slightly odd but ultimately harmless, there are handfuls of other users in the comments convinced that this behaviour is actually #redflag or #greenflag behaviour. 

Given the internetisn’t exactly a place built to cope with ambivalence, the #beigeflag trend is an interesting phenomenon. As soon as you post online that you feelcompletely neutral about something, the only way people know how to react is to try and convince you not to feel neutral.  

My beige flag is that I don’t know how to end my columns, so I just include a silly little joke which references the topic I’ve chosen each month.


This article first appeared in the July edition of Connect Magazine, which you can read in full below...

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