As the result of the EU referendum became clear, the poll’s divisive effects across generational lines became highly visible online.
Some of the most visceral reaction to the Leave vote came under two related hashtags: “Not in my name” and “What have we done” shot into Twitter’s top trends list on Friday morning and were used more than 20,000 times combined.
Twitter does not reflect the general population’s view. The social network’s demographic skews much younger than the UK’s population as a whole. Pre-vote polls indicated that young people were more likely to vote Remain, and thus many commenters using the hashtags were decrying the result.
It is a word that has become used as a shorthand way of saying the UK leaving the EU – merging the words Britain and exit to get Brexit, in a same way as a Greek exit from the EU was dubbed Grexit in the past.
The hashtags were dominated by Remain supporters, although some pro-Leave voters also waded into the debate:
Other than anger, a common theme was frustration among 16- and 17-year-olds, who were not allowed to vote in the poll. Last year an initiative backed by Labour, the Lib Dems and SNP proposed lowering the voting age. However the government rejected the idea on the grounds of cost, and it was voted down.
“I love waking up to be completely terrified about something that’s going to affect me yet i had no say in it,” mused one teenager.