Why I am leaving social media

I am leaving all social media for one week, effective immediately.

Lately, I have become present to the extremely negative role that social media has on my view of people in general and more importantly, on my mental health.

Waking up this morning to a myriad of comments celebrating (!!!) the murder of 4 Israeli civilians who were just praying in their synagogue, coupled with the complete lack of even the slightest condemnation from any of my non-Jewish friends on the topic, leaves me empty about the future of humanity.

It saddens me to remember Martin Niemoller’s famous quote in times like this:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

We will get the world that we create, and we will deserve that world. And if we only speak out when we have a personal interest, then we should be ready for our society, our morals, and our values, to be taken over by those who have no morals or values at all.

And if you prefer to brush off my fears as irrational or exaggerated, just look at your timeline. It is already happening.

Worse than the silence of not speaking out against this murderous hatred is the fact that global silence from non-Jews is considered tacit support for their hate-filled, destructive tactics. International aide funneled to terrorists who are believed to be among the richest groups in the world, coupled with international condemnation of Israel for simply defending their people’s right to live leaves me shaking my head in disbelief.

But it’s true. Iran openly declares, three times in one week, about their desire to destroy the state of Israel and their plan to do it, and the United States sits quietly, working back channels to make a deal with them that would allow them to pursue their destructive nuclear goals.

I see friends who decide to stay out of these issues telling me that it’s not worth it. I believe it is worth it, but perhaps I’m wrong.

Perhaps the majority is right.

Perhaps ignorance really is bliss.

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Welcome to my blog.

Dear friends I know, those I don’t, those I might one day meet, and those who prefer to lurk in anonymity:

My name is Mark. I am passionate about making a difference in the way our world works today and the way we communicate with each other.

Please allow me to tell you a little bit about myself. In my late teens, I was a shy guy who was relatively obedient to authority figures and who only voiced opinions if I was confident that people would agree with me. I really cared about what people thought of me and wanted to be seen as smart.

Then, I left Montreal to go to University. Gone was the safety of living at home with my parents. In its place, an experience at a liberal arts university where to say the students were outspoken would be one of the understatements of the century. The trouble, for me, was that I didn’t agree with the vocal population on many issues.

It wasn’t that I thought they were wrong and that I was right; the problem with the arguments I was hearing, in my opinion, was that the opinions seemed to be based largely on emotion. More often than not, students who sounded passionate about their position on a topic were unable to explain, let alone defend, their positions when questioned. It seemed that it was more important to agree with their peers than to form one’s own opinion. World issues seemed to matter more for social reasons, to fit in, than it mattered to make rational, logical arguments.

Throughout University and in the years that followed, I took a greater interest in current events and in the debates happening locally, nationally, and internatinally on various issues. What I realized was that, thankfully, I was more interested in truth, fairness, honesty, and integrity – values for which many call me an “idealist” – than I was about fitting in or being popular.

Since 2003, I have written numerous opinions and have created a list of future topics to tackle. I plan on using this blog to share these views publicly, and I invite all readers to comment in order to advance the conversation.

In short, I speak my mind, and I am glad to defend my points (as well as hear opposite arguments that are well-explained and defended by their promoters). What’s more, I believe that I am not alone in my opinions and approaches. I believe that I am part of a segment of society that is pragmatic, logical, creative, and progressive. However, I think that those in this segment of society either don’t feel the need to publicize their views and/or decide to avoid the risk involved with sharing an uncommon point of view.

Luckily, I have experienced exclusion in the past and today, I openly commit to all of you who read and who will read my blog that I will stand for idealism – truth, fairness, honesty, and integrity, even if these put me at odds with what popular sources want me to think, feel, or believe. I promise to check all bullshit at the door in order to promote the possibility of conversation that will advance our world.

Please join me for the ride. It should be exciting.

-Mark