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What did We Miss

Published by on March 11th, 2014

Forget the hype about going online and all the social presence fever, we all go on the net to check any content labeled under “What’s New” or “Trending Topics” or just to pass time and read some jokes or funny posts.

If you lived back in the age of Google reader, the daily coffee companion would be your RSS feeds snatched from various sites – well before we got stuck behind hashtags, mentions and twitter-ology phobia.

You could browse through various topics for hours and never get bored mixing your own set of news. Sharing has always been there and integration with more channels remained an on-going process.

Then came 2006, with the public introduction of  Facebook  that went quite well as people needed to evade reality building their virtual online presence and network. Twitter however did not have that luxury as people failed to grasp the concept. While some thought of it as an SMS replacement, twttr failed to impress and it was not until after acquiring twitter name and introducing direct messages and RSS feeds and links that people started realizing how this would be a changer. More debates followed along the process from 160 characters to 140, but guess what we are not here to analyze that.

Blogging on the other hand, was associated with journalism specifically addressing political based issues and gradually – after social networks updates – more people opted for that delivery channel.

Then things evolved quickly, with more sharing capabilities, timelines and the race to get news first, likes, followers, and the list goes on and on.

What did we Miss

Along the transformation process, we all got more and more behind our screens feeling the need to share – to remain active / present rather than educate.

Nowadays, it is endless timelines filled with pictures, repetitive posts, cross linked sites, tags and hashtags.

Along the transformation process, we acquired all the tools of influence and yet as predicted we excelled in misusing them.

If you spend one hour browsing social media channels you are likely to hit at least half of the below list

–          Spam posts
–          Repetitive posts
–          Bashing / counter-bashing
–          Political fights
–          Tampered / False news
–          Stolen Articles
–          And the list goes on

So what exactly did we do wrong along the way, what did we miss?

The Lebanese Arena

“Le Libanais” – “أبو ربا” living in “بلد الأرز” and “le paradis”.

Yes that’s a typical Lebanese slogan with the three languages “à la” – Hi, Kifak, ça va

Lebanese were always among leaders in many areas name it from writers with our great “Gebran Khalil Gebran ”, singing icons like “Fairuz”, to scientists like “Hassan Kamel Sabeh” and others.

But when it came to Social  Media , we had to do it differently, or with much intent notably on open networks like twitter.


We all know we live in a country manipulated by bigger external players who made sure that no one has a determining edge over the other.

Away from being a political lecture, I just want to mention that followers of conflicting parties have blindly failed many times to understand that what unites the officials is their interest not the peoples’ and guess what, you tweeps have decided to take “all the dirt” online.

And as if there is no much tension on the streets, politicians are using the service to pump more hatred into their followers.

Congratulations, keep up the good work

Just Tweet

If you understand what “Social” means, I am sure most of us will be using twitter the proper way

–          It is everyone’s right to say what they want
–          It is not your right or job to object other people’s opinion
–          This is twitter not a chat room
–          You are not obliged to “Follow” or Listen to anyone
–          Yeah and there is always the mysterious “BLOCK” button.


Sharing media has always been one key factor in enriching your content / boosting your online presence and the rules are very simple which is what we “Lebanese” DON’T LIKE TO DO

–          If you own the material share it
–          If you saw it somewhere else, share it or re-post
–          Or simply write an article
–          Oh and do not add to drama to things if someone stole a tweet or picture

While it is normal to express opinions, most Lebanese become reporters, investigators, and analysts on the fly in a healthy collaboration area.

On the other hand, it is really annoying the amount of repetitive “copy-paste” topic that you face on various blogs.

You cannot convince anyone that on a daily basis 4 Lebanese bloggers notice the same issue and decided to write about it. Be creative, get out of each other’s path, there are gazillion topics and news out there.

You did not all notice that “a cat got lost on the highway yesterday” and felt it was a good thing to write about.


In plain Arabic, we Lebanese “بنحرق نفسو “. It is a war scene out there, hashtags and counter ones – mostly politically inclined – and what is even worse is

“We steal the most trending hashtags and make them a MEME”

Tags, Keywords, Hashtags are there basically to reference topics for faster search and exposure.


So again, what did we Lebanese miss . . .

We missed the whole point, the exposure given to us to show the brighter not darker side of us, to raise awareness on media and not hatred, to reject dark ideas like sectarianism and terrorism.

We were supposed to show the world what we “the educated” and “youth” and “future generation” can change but we showed everybody how much of a prisoners of our sects and areas we are.

It is never too late . . .


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