By somebody, who does not know anybody living in Paris!
Social media as Twitter, Facebook or Instagram have always been sources of the immediate reactions on what is happening, and there was no exception neither in the case of Paris terrorist attacks. Not just tweets and statuses describing the facts directly from France, but also the wave of solidarity heaved. People all around the world were firstly scared and seriously thinking about how many friends they have in Paris. Must be said that Facebook helped a lot to assure us by its “safety button” about everybody who we know, is OK. The statuses such as “Pray for Paris” or French flags along with the Paris symbols did not avoid millions of accounts.
- France was on almost every profile.
In the moment of sadness, users of social media influenced by others were putting the French flag on their profile pictures, were sharing the pictures of Paris and peace and could finally reuse their definitely lost pictures from their voyage to Paris few years ago. Those who never had spoken French, were trying to put up their statuses in this romantic language. Whosoever is reading this article, this is not a ridicule of your behavior, but this is reality and I have to admit, I DID EXACTLY THE SAME!
- Not Paris, but the world!
However, after some time and millions of “French” posts, somebody wanted to not be a sheep and I personally experienced a bit violent messages asking me why I did not cry for Lebanese terrorist attacks. More brave friends had already posted a message called “It is not Paris we should pray for, it is the world” claiming all the recent terrorist attacks and their violent consequences including Lebanon, Baghdad, or refugees. Others tweeted about Russian plane and Tunis, Ankara, Kuwait etc.
- European Parliament commemorating Paris.
Few days after the attack, the European parliament together with many other European countries commemorated the victims of Paris. Under the photo displaying Brussels politicians in black clothes, standing probably during a minute of silence, some of the users of social media very severely interrogated why the European parliament did not commemorate the victims of Beirut, Ankara, Baghdad and so on.
- Feeling of pity or fear?
Talking about my personal experience, I felt sorry of the victims for Paris, but moreover I felt FEAR. And isn’t this the reason why we watched broadcasted terror from France so carefully? What if it happens to me or my family, my boyfriend or my own country? Of course, we were sorry for Paris and the innocent people who lost their lives on Friday 13th, but wouldn’t you be more sorry and horrified if your loved one died? I would! I would not want to be in the place of those who did not find on Facebook their friends as OK, who on the 14th November woke up and did not find their husbands next to them, who did not find their children in their rooms or who called their mothers to tell them that everything is well, and the phone rang without answer. Every human life is linked with others by family or friendship ties and this is what we could see. In this moment I cry for those who stayed and are alive and are bearing the loss of their close ones, wherever they are.
- France is near.
The second personal experience that I would like to express is why we were not showing our feelings about Beirut, Baghdad or Russia. The reason is not because the flag of Lebanon would destroy my profile picture or I could not write my tweet in Arabic. It is not because I like France more than Russia or because the planes sometimes crash. For the first time in my life I was scared to be involved in a war. Because it was near to my country, it was close to my world and it is truly important for me. However, now I feel not fear, because I do not want to be scared to live. I am ready to protect, not Paris, not the world, but my family and friends.
- I Cry For…
And eventually, please, do not punish those who upload their profile picture with flag of France. Please, do not complain on European politicians holding a minute of silence for Paris and not for other attacks. Obviously, they are here to represent the European states and they are furthermore scared for their own homelands. And please, do not crucify me for this article, I just wanted to explain, whom I cry for!