Jon Goddard

Jon Goddard

By Jon Goddard

If the past few weeks should have taught us anything it’s that social media is full of idiots.

I’m not talking about the countless morons, anti-Semites, semi-radical Muslims et al who post endlessly about the evils of Israel and the Jewish people. Their bile or simple misguidedness is to be expected, and I don’t find it inany way surprising.

What often causes more damage than any of these fools are my Jewish friends who fail to take any real positive action and instead clog my news feed with counter-arguments calling for me to “read this great article” or “watch this incredible video” that somehow blows holes in all the anti-Zionist propaganda.

Could there possibly be a greater waste of time? You are fuelling a social media war that cannot be won, shouting to people who already agree with you, and those who never will.

Outnumbered by thousands to one, you are a voice in the wilderness. It is impossible to have a meaningful debate on social media; it is fundamentally not designed for it. Rather, it’s a forum for people to shout in turn until everyone agrees to disagree and have just had the beliefs theyalready had hardened.

Even the people you think you have “convinced” are so fairweather they are utterly inconsequential. The only winning move is not to play… ignore it all and focus on real life. Social media is all about peer approval; if you starve people of a ‘like’ or a ‘comment’ they feel stupid and soon give up.

An unanswered post is soon removed for the shame of being seen to be uninteresting.

Worse, however, is the Jew who seeks online pity – for themselves or for all Jewry.When will you understand that droning on about how the poor people of Israel are cowering in their shelters and can’t get on with their everyday lives is not only doing Israelis a disservice and perpetrating a lie, it perpetuates a stereotypeof Jewish helplessness. If you act weak, you become weak… our enemies, of which we have as many as we have always had (only social media makes it seemlike there are more), revel in the idea of the pitiful Jew; it fuels their hatred and encourages bolder action.

 It is impossible to have a meaningful debate on social media; it is fundamentally not designed for it.

It is impossible to have a meaningful debate on social media; it is fundamentally not designed for it.

So hold on to your ill-held belief – the very same ill-held belief of those on the other side of the fence – that your opinion actually matters.

Social media has given so many of us the incorrect assumption that oneperson’s opinion is as valid as another’s; that everyone – no matter how ignorantthey are – has some right to have their view taken as seriously as someone who actually might know something.

The things you do online only serve to give you the false impression that you are being active; that you are doing something positive. So instead, ignore the online crap and do something real.

Make aliyah, volunteer for security shifts at your shul, read books about Jabotinsky or Begin or Trumpledor or other heroes of Zionism, organise a counter-demonstration, give money to pro-Israel charities, take your children to self-defence classes, go to Bradford…

Just please stop littering my news feed with your damaging nonsense that does nothing but make yourself feel better about the fact you aren’t doing a damned thing.