The trickiness in balancing social media and a blog at the moment is that not only is it a uneasy time to be expressing opinions in – declaring a state of emergency a situation any government takes lightly being in, and as a foreigner in that country your opinions can very easily stir up emotion, particularly when that country is one which takes national pride incredibly seriously – something coming from the UK where one is free to mock the monarchy in private and joke in public it is still sometimes difficult to understand. (related or not to political events) often times I hold back because I’m very aware that to say what I want without it being misinterpreted (related to political events or not) requires a much lengthier post/reply than I’m willing to give on Facebook.
When you engage in conversation on social media channels it is intrinsically personal. It’s a case of everyone coming at the conversation from their own perspectives (a great thing!) but many of the people you’re connected to have little experience of you as a person offline. What in your head sound like simple statements of opinion or is even meant as a joke can easily (and often predictably) be misconstrued and to expand on it in comments where you can be interrupted mid-flow by people genuinely interested or validly against what you write is distracting.
This morning, https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fsmaydos%2Fposts%2F1322793554405043&width=500” target=”_blank”>as part of a longer post, I wrote that if needed it would be easy to round up a (possibly conservative estimate) minimum 100 guns from just the houses in our complex. This sounds rather scary, that everyone is armed and, by implication, dangerous. In fact, only a small minority of those who own guns are potentially dangerous. The majority have guns purely as a precaution…or even just for fun. We’re not talking hunting as we might be in Scotland. The first flat G and I lived in had a cute balcony overlooking the city. When we first moved in he asked me to stay off the balcony after football matches. I looked at him like he was nuts – why on earth would I do that? It was a few months later, when we’d forgotten this house rule and it was only his quick instinct that pulled me back further to the wall that prevented a close shave with a flying bullet, that i finally understood! For Turks, I’m generalising of course – just as in the US there are many people anti-gun; the difference is the proportion of the population who own guns..legally licensed or otherwise, for Turkish gun lovers there is no circumstance that can not be celebrated with an exuberant flurry of gunshots – to celebrate everything from weddings to football matches (when both sides can aim shots into the air in frustration and joy!). In many villages it is not uncommon for warning shots to be used to end arguments rapidly. But without this understanding any joke about a near-miss or any reference to the sound of gunshots being a regular thing would send my family into panic.
Yes, social media has it’s place but I’m glad to have this space here, too.