Someone asked me why I left an interesting group of expats in the world called Internation’s. IN was one of the few social media groups I genuinely thought was a good idea in a time when any idea for “social media” was being pitched. I went to a few live events and found them nothing more than a mixer at a bar - having to scream to have a conversation simply not much fun to me. The live events could have been really interesting and the brand could have prospered, but it would have required the company to change business practices to actually create perceived value for the brand.
What I did enjoy were the online forums, granted, it was like most online forums where amid between the fighting and rush to defend whatever side one with ones belief systems, be it pro Israeli vs. pro Arab, pro USA vs. pro everyone else, or “why isn’t anyone doing anything go help (insert group)?” threads. There were moments when people would actually drop their rigid belief, party, race, creed, color or religion flags and banner of what they believed and have an actual conversation about ideas, differences and things. These moments were those that gave hope that the world might change and get along one day.
The day I left internations was about Arab spring; perhaps it was the second anniversary or it? During the first, I kept asking the Egyptians or Arabs in the area, “What do you really wish to change or happen in this?” During the second round I asked the same question and got the exact same answers. I knew nothing was really going to change but the people in power, so I just felt, “that’s enough time here, move along."
“Freedom” is great, but you need to understand why and what it means. The answers that were posted in Internations have all seemed to remind me of when I did online dating and the first question was “what are you most passionate about?” Seems like a fairly simple, yet complex question – I think it was 90% of the profiles answered the exact same way, “I am passionate about living my life to the fullest!”
That is great, but, “can you explain to me what that actually means to you? Your own thoughts, ideas and beliefs?”
The same phenomenon happened all the time inside Internation's the issues to discuss were all good -conflicts, economics, science, and political and religious beliefs. But in the political group, I kept asking, “what do the people want?” And I kept getting no answers, or the same as the aforementioned “freedom!” Most of the time, I had to wonder what the people running my own country were thinking during that time with foreign policy.
Today, I write as I look upon the events inside the Middle East and have to shake my head. Not much can or needs to be said as the events unfold. All I can wonder is did the players all come out of some smoke filled room and say, “Lets all start yet another war, think it will provide a different result, ok...uhm, ahh.....so we can profit more?”
Is it really that insane where people are simply going to fight under the moniker of “freedom!” and have no reason for “why?” than, “it is the one with the power that makes all the rules!”
It is funny how I can sit in a room learning German with a group of unrelated political, cultural, religious, and diverse philosophical differences and everyone gets along just fine, yet, inside a computer forum or on the global stage the same difference are used to drive people apart.
I do miss the trolls in Internation's, they had a funny wit and way of creating characters and profiles to annoy whatever side they were trying to influence, but I sit here in Switzerland today wondering how long can I last in a world that basically is not going to change. What life is here is like reading a rulebook and if you don't close this door, or turn the handle with your left, not your right hand, you get scolded.
You do need some basic rules for life, but outside of trying to love, are the rest anchors or guidelines for living? or just surviving within an illusion?