Harun Yahya

Social Media Should not be an Arena of Lovelessness and Cruelty

With the extensive usage of social media, a new problem has come to the fore in a certain part of the society. Social media, which could have been a very nice environment when people remind one another of love, compassion, cooperation, beauties and being thankful to God, has turned into an arena of fighting and harsh discussions for many people. Some circles are using social media in which enormous propaganda is carried out with one-sentence sharings, one minute videos; and one-frame photos are being used deliberately to stir up masses. False information that could easily be discovered with short research, reach thousands of people in a very short time. Provocative, manipulative comments can turn into a flood of hatred and anger in an immeasurably short amount of time. For instance, a photo taken during a natural disaster or in a place of conflict that has no relation to the events taking place at that moment could be circulated with two lines of false information and stir up a fit of hatred by inciting the public spirit. Even if the falsity of this information is uncovered and the truth is revealed after a while, debunking the lie that has already reached tens of thousands of people is not always possible. 

Then how is it possible that people believe in and be influenced by everything they hear without feeling the need to research or analyze?  This has two basic reasons.

The first is that the new generation has largely lost the ability to evaluate and analyze an event with all its aspects. The way these youngsters who are unable to step out of the life style presented to them on the internet, express their feelings and ideas, the way they make jokes and criticisms - and even their anger - is stereotypical. These youngsters with very limited vocabulary are unable to form sentences other than some memorized clichés most of the time. They are unable to express their appreciation when they see something they like other than uttering a few customary words. When there is something to criticize, they use the clichés they have newly learnt. Even when they imagine themselves to have made very wise remarks and defeated the person they are talking to, they are unable to go beyond being stuck in these clichés. However – even if there might sometimes be similarities- people's feelings in the face of incidents are not always exactly the same. Just like the joy each person takes in front of a beautiful scene would be different, the way each one expresses their feelings would be different in proportion to their depth, as well. Everyone's reaction when faced with an incident that incites the public spirit would also be proportional to his own intelligence and good conscience. It is not normal for millions of people to use the same words when faced with a beautiful - or on the other hand, a disturbing image. This narrow-minded world especially the youngsters have somehow imprisoned themselves in makes it possible for them to be manipulated easily.

Another reason is that a great many of them have surrendered to their anger instead of making rational evaluations based on love and understanding. Anyone might make mistakes or might have some bad  characteristics or might take uncomely decisions. Patience and the ability to approach matters in an understanding manner are the basic requisites to prevent these mistakes cause damage in a person or society. However many people are not willing to show the understanding and forgiveness they would like to receive when they make mistakes, to others. Moreover, being cruel with a vengeance, or 'kicking a man when he is down' is considered acceptable most of the time. Instead of helping someone to correct himself if he has a mistake, showing him the right type of behavior and approaching him with compassion, crushing him, further ruining him seems easier to them. This situation which could be considered as ordinary when not evaluated with wisdom and good conscience, is actually a serious abnormality and causes degeneration of many social values. 

The sense of unity and solidarity in society is one of the most important of these values. A hostile spirit would rapidly spread among societies that ignore understanding, patience, compassion and love. People become enemies to those who think differently even if they are their neighbors, friends or even relatives. Voting for a different political party, having different political views and lifestyles or even being a fan of different sports clubs could be considered enough for their animosity.  WHEN THE FEELING OF HOSTILITY SPREADS IN A SOCIETY, IT BECOMES EASIER FOR THAT COUNTRY TO BREAK INTO PIECES MATERIALLY AND SPIRITUALLY. 

In short, the end of a society that moves away from love and compassion, from rational thinking and conscientious evaluations, would be bleak. It would not be possible to talk about the existence of happy, peaceful individuals in such a society. For that reason, how social media is used is extremely important, both in respect to the mental health of the individuals and the health of society itself. 

A system in which compassionate, understanding, patient and forgiving people are appreciated should be developed instead of one in which individuals are praised the more cynical, crude, angry and the more vindictive they are. To ensure this, we need to speak constantly on the beauty of love, the quality of spirit compassion and forgiveness brings, the importance of seeing beauties and subtleties and the comfort submitting to God and being rational provides and keep them in the agenda.  ONLY THEN WILL SOCIAL MEDIA BECOME AN ASSEMBLY OF LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP INSTEAD OF AN ARENA OF FIGHTING AND HATRED.

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