Monday, August 4, 2014

5 Digital Engagement Lessons From The Trenches Of My Personal Life

It's been an interesting weekend. 

Over the past 48 hours I've been on Twitter speaking my mind about Israel. All opinions my own, always.

I've met folks who agreed and others who argued passionately against my point of view.

For the most part the questions aimed at me were harsh. A few were hostile. One guy said I was a "Zionist bitch." 

Another said I should be "thrown into the ovens" like Hitler did to the Jews in the Holocaust.

But there were rays of beautiful too. I believe as Anne Frank said that people are basically good.

One person who said angry things about Israel, and Jews, turned out to be genuinely questioning. We discovered together that he is actually Jewish by birth.

Another prompted a discussion of Jewish law, colonialism, Buddhism, and the religious and philosophical background behind the current Jewish State of Israel.

A third shared a map of his own complex heritage and said he supported #Israel and #Jews.

I learned so many lessons this weekend and just wanted to share a few.

1. You can't take criticism and insults personally. At the same time if someone is abusive you should block them. It's a fine line.

2. Social media is about both facts and heart. It depends who you're talking to. But you must stick with the truth even if it hurts, and you must respect the other person at all times.

3. Digital engagement means engaging, not shouting, monologueing or insulting.

4. You can't know all the facts going in. You will have to do some research, from multiple sources.

5. Don't defend yourself against people who just want to hate on you. Focus on the key point you want to make, drawing on the facts. At the same time, answer genuine questions genuinely.

I do believe that we are all "children of the most high G-d" as Joel Osteen says and that we will end war voluntarily, before armed conflict eats us alive.

Peace can begin with respectful interaction on social media.