During the last couple of years, or maybe already before, it has been a trend to fight, divorce, de-friend because of the internal political debates in Hungary. As a young girl, I was surprised; I was not so keen (or ready) to go into politics.
Then, later on, when I took the Hungarian flag to march on the street supporting one side of the political maze first time, I started to awaken. There in the crowd I felt such energy, pride and enthusiasm than never before. But what happened when the march ended and the next day I had to go to school?
I was alone. Though, there were plenty of people supporting the side I supported, however, for some reason they kept as a secret. They pretended neutral and watched how the other side, the , , so proudly courageous of the common power made jokes over me, the other side.
I still stood for my opinion. It hurt what they did (think that we are 16-17) but ironically I somehow enjoyed being outside the crowd. It is not some sort of superiority gimmick but that (yet undefined) feeling in me was already strong enough to echo: ‘truth does not necessarily lies where more people gather.’
This kind of snapshots came with me all along my life. Unconsciously or consciously, but I was always standing firm.
3 years ago, when I found my other half, I started to see once unseen happenings on my Facebook account. They might have been there before but I did not pay attention. ‘Friends‘ posting anti-Jewish statements, videos, comments etc. ‘Friends‘, who once were ex-es, ‘friends,’ who knew I have a Jewish boyfriend, or just friends…
So first I just went into silent frustration and hurt. Then, in line with my internal developments, turned into neutrality and then to radical actions: I deleted my account.
Evidently, not only because of this but it certainly held a significant role in my decision.
7 month later I rejoined because of my work as social media manager, regretfully and inevitably I ended up being an active personal user again.
Last February, when things in Israel and Gaza got heated up for the first time since I was mentally and soulfully involved in this matter, I was on all platforms commenting, re-commenting, debating. Trying to show the others side, trying to understand their side. I hoped that we can actually discuss life.
But after a few days I needed to realize: this is a battle without existent.
That is one thing that the once learnt etiquette or Netiquette has no presence whatsoever, that after the ‘I think ‘ words people send you to warmer places neglecting any sort of human line of anger scale, you do not even know who the hell you are talking to. When motorcycle picture under the name Dangerous Johnny tells that ‘Jews should be killed one by one’, or a no-pictured Mohammed XY screams that ‘IsraHell. Netanyahu the Blood Sucker’, I think we all should stop for a moment.
Are we seriously trying to make a point with the unbodied non-existent?
We have no idea, who he is, no idea what faces he makes when he writes, we have no idea what feelings he reveals. We no nothing and yet we dance with him!
Don’t we know the golden rule as to non-verbal communication says 55% while words count for only 5% in our conveyed message? This means we are all liars behind our PCs.
Liars behind the world of unbodied non-existent. I bet Dangerous Johnnny or Mohammed XY are anxiously sweating or having a cigarette while they are typing sentences they would never ever dare saying out loud; their body would collapse.
Have you thought about how much strength you need to say ‘you, Jew! you shall die’ from eye to eye? If one has no problem doing this, then they are actually dangerous and raise further problems.
You might think I am jumping from point to point but actually they all blend into one crucial fact:
The debates in social media without names, faces, and actual human interactions is non-existent.
So unless I feel certain level of quality in the discussions (stick on me ‘superior’ if you wish) I do not join for the request to dance.
Well… at least until another lesson is learnt:
Yesterday, a ‘friend’ posted an infography on the number of causalities in Gaza vs. Israel. Needless to say it was just among the currently seen thousands of anti-Israeli propaganda. Him being an intelligent, open-minded fellow, working for one of the EU Institutions (not even important), I felt confident warning him that this is quite a one-sided view.
Certainly he disagreed and showed me a map of how Palestinians are shrinking out due to Israeli genocide. Not to go further (since by then I figured that he has never actually been to Israel or to Gaza for that matter) I told him a story:
‘ I dated a Russian guy and when he showed me his high-school history book (by the way he was studying in Hungary in a Russian school how ironic is that!) that book explained in heroic sentences how they, the Russians came to free us, the Hungarians, and that they have to celebrate it and never forget the pride they gained with that action. Well, my history book said something completely different; my grandparents (whose father was taken by the Russians or whose sisters were hidden in the basement from the horny Russian soldiers) said something completely different.’
So as a closing line I expressed that I like to have strong opinions after personal, tangible, first-hand experiences and not from books, manipulated maps and pictures or the mainstream media coverage. So we ended in peace.
He was alone, I was alone – we had a discussion.
Thereafter, the gang came (oh those school years flashed back), and started to share further maps and videos, how Israel is a killing state etc. All those videos that are endlessly dropping on your news feed nowadays.
But my other half arrived and we went to our usual treat to the closest park for peace, sunshine and talk. No phones, no Internet, just hands in hands.
Arriving back home, further videos awaited me, so I felt the need to ask: (surely my weakness) if they think that posting a video (from God knows what sources) is really believed to be an argument for them? If so, I can join. So I shared with them two handful videos on how Palestinians teach their kids to use guns.
I need to assure you here: I did not share that because I believe it or because I find it as a supporting argument, I shared to show them how much it does not count.
There are good Palestinians and guilty ones, there are good Israelis and guilty ones, but these videos and pictures have no sense anymore.
Why? Why would they? Today? When Photoshop and its friends are available to all? When your PC can be hacked in seconds? Really? We are going to make high-level arguments based on videos and pictures?
So I repeated my statement to go, see, experience, learn from people (both sides), talk to people (both sides) and then we can have some brain challenging disputes.
And here came the human move again: the friend, you know the one who posted the infographs and left peacefully while we were only two of us, came in and said, ‘I delete this post after your videos’.
And so he deleted.
All this is his right. (Though a hypothetical question: why to put something when out of your 1.500 friends you can guess/hope that at least one thinks differently)
I cannot and should not neglect the fact: that he allowed all videos that were in line with his views, once I replied, he deleted all. I wonder when he will de-friend me also…hm.
We are back to my innocent girl ages. Seriously? People fight, divorce, de-friend because they have different views and experiences?
But, ok, lets do that. But then, why do we define ourselves open-minded, multicultural, educated, liberal young people? Because we do so, and oh how proudly we do!
I sometimes joke that everyone is open-minded until they agree with him… well… maybe I am right.
Anyways the only real punch –line from this story is: people feel strong behind their PC, people feel strong in a gang, but when they attack you, you need to turn away and know: you won, they have no argument anymore just (manipulated) anger…..and negotiating with that is a battle with the unbodied eternal non-existent …
ps. I still believe that I can have Palestinian friends and Israeli friends, I do believe that I can learn from both sides, I still believe that we can actually change views on life…