Empathy is defined as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another – on social media this is often expressed through memes like “I know that feel”, comments such as “same” or “THIS” and even the “likes” we give each other’s posts.

In recent years, there has been a great deal of hand-wringing over the apparent decline in empathy, with possible culprits ranging from technology overload to social isolation – and in the midst of an anxiety-stoking election cycle, it’s easy to see how polarized views can pave the way for a lack of understanding. But are we justified in mourning the loss of our ability to relate to others? Recent events in the world of music might indicate that there’s hope for the power of human connection after all.

Vince Staples takes to Twitter to voice empathy for a mother who was being mocked for uploading a video expressing her consternation over his lyrics.

Read: A Mother Criticizes Vince Staples, and the Rapper Defends Her

Kid Cudi publicly disclosed his struggles with depression in a heartfelt Facebook post, leading to an outpouring of support on social media and a discussion about the stigma of mental illness among black men with the hashtag #yougoodman.

Read: Black Men Are Opening Up About Their Mental Health After Kid Cudi’s Announcement

A recent study shows that people who feel strong emotional reactions to sad music are more likely to demonstrate higher levels of empathy than their peers.

Read:  People who feel the pain of sad songs may be better at feeling the pain of other human beings

There are numerous thinkpieces in the marketing community about the power of empathy in advertising – and it’s easy to see why creating resonant connections with consumers would be important to brands. How can brands use empathy to better understand and connect with their audiences? Can the power of music and emotional connections between fans and artists play a role in their strategy?


Written by Caitlin Crawford

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