On Thursday, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. Almost instantly, the value of the pound slumped, the British prime minister resigned, and people throughout the country were left to wonder how Brexit will affect their mortgages and job prospects.
Just a day after the vote, people are already starting to feel regretful. One woman who voted to Leave told a reporter that she wishes she could change her decision. Another told The BBC that he didn't expect his Leave vote to count, and is worried by the referendum's success.
Perhaps most frustrating to those who are not surprised by the ramifications of the Brexit is that it seems that, as of yesterday, many Brits weren't entirely clear on what the European Union actually is. We know that because after the Brexit vote was tallied, people in the UK started googling "What is the EU' in droves.
Far fewer people in the UK were wondering what the EU is in the days leading up to the Brexit vote, when that knowledge would have been… helpful.
People also wondered, "what is brexit," and "what is the european union."
Had those voting on whether to leave the EU researched it before the referendum, they would have learned that the European Union was born out of World War Two as a way to ensure that neighboring European countries would maintain peaceful, prosperous ties rather than invade each other. They would have learned that the UK joined an early iteration of the union in 1973. Now, however, their Google searches are more likely to show that this is the beginning of the end of the EU, and that the great experiment is dead.
What a difference a day makes.
Danielle Wiener-Bronner is a news reporter.