April 9, 2024
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Should We Keep Feeding Into the Outrage?

Recently, I found out that a group called Doctors Against Genocide was planning to hold a pro-Hamas rally inside the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. I posted the flier to my X (formerly Twitter) account and wrote about how this was clearly antisemitic and had to be shut down. Then I went to bed.

When I woke up the next morning, the tweet had been viewed over 450,000 times and received hundreds of comments from angry people on both sides.

I looked at my other tweets, the more inspiring ones, and realized that they weren’t nearly as popular. All my tweets about antisemitism and other inflammatory topics received the most attention.

The algorithm clearly decides to promote outrage. Now, I wonder: Should we feed into the outrage machine?

Up until October 7, 2023, I would never post something controversial on social media. I thought, “I’m going to stay far away from it so I don’t attract any trolls.” I wanted people to come to my page for comfort and inspiration, not for hard-hitting, negative news.

But after October 7, and the explosion of antisemitism when the Jewish people were hurting the most, I couldn’t be quiet anymore. My people were being attacked literally and figuratively on a daily basis, and I have a unique voice: I’m a convert. I’ve been on both sides of this, and I can offer a different perspective. October 7 and its aftermath only reaffirmed my choice to become a Jew and strengthen the Jewish people during this horrible time.

There is a big “however,” here though: I don’t post every angry thought in my head. I often start tweeting something and then decide to delete it because I think, “This is not productive.” If I do post something negative that’s happening, I always try to add an uplifting message at the end of it.

I don’t want my posts to just get people riled up or make them upset. I want people to feel stronger once they read one of my posts. I want to give them advice on actions they can take to feel better. I want to remind them that Hashem is in control, and Hashem is good—even if we don’t know what “good” means.

What does well on social media is usually not good for Jews, or society in general. Social media is very effective at stirring up arguments and dividing people. If you spend all day on X, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, you’d probably think that everybody hates you and be paranoid about leaving your house. Typically, when you get off your devices and go out into the real world, it’s a much calmer place. Everyday interactions aren’t so dramatic. In my life offline, I find that 95% of the people I come across are nice, and most of them don’t have hateful feelings towards me. They really don’t even care that I’m a Jew.

Before posting anything on social media, I encourage you to pause and think about how people may react to it. How will it make them feel? Determine your goals for posting and stay away from gossip and attacks. It’s fine to state a strong position, but you don’t have to attack others in order to do it. You can be upset, but give people something to do and think about as well. You should aim to bring people together—not tear them apart.

As a Jew, it’s my mission to bring light into this world, especially when the darkness can seem so overwhelming. If I give in to the frenzied news cycle and the criticism and the hate, that means the darkness wins. I don’t want people to lose hope—it’s what has gotten us this far. If we lose it now, we lose everything.

I’m going to continue to fight the good fight online and off, and I won’t give up on my mission to keep hope alive.

I hope you’ll join me.


Kylie Ora Lobell is president of KOL Digital Marketing, a marketing and publicity firm for Jewish businesses, organizations, authors and influencers. Email her at [email protected].

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