Social media, especially Facebook, I’ve found, has enormous potential to distort reality. It probably contributes to our surprise at the way recent votes have gone. Our friends on Facebook tend to be those who have similar views to our own. If we discover views we disagree with, we tend to unfriend their propagators rather than engaging them in discussion or just ignoring offending posts.

The result becomes very one-sided. My friends were almost totally anti-Brexit and anti-Trump. Yet both Brexit and Trump came to pass, surprising many, including me.

Now, in my little country, an issue has come up in which the views of my friends do reflect reality, although I don’t understand why. Israelis are split over this and so are my friends. I won’t unfriend those I disagree with. I want to try and understand. And sometimes they post views I do agree with.

Contrary to the complicated issues connected with this country, this one seems very straightforward to me. A soldier was found guilty of killing a terrorist after the terrorist was restrained and no longer a threat. For all ethical reasons, religious ones included, it should be clear that he committed a crime and must be punished. This article explains why.

What do some of my Facebook friends (and friends of friends) say against the verdict? Mostly that they, as mothers, have told their sons that their safety comes first and they shouldn’t hesitate to shoot if they find themselves in danger. They – the mothers – would rather visit their sons in jail than in the graveyard. Absolutely – I understand that, but that wasn’t the case here.

It would be awful if this led to violence, which has been threatened.

Yemin Moshe - view along Malki Street

A lane in Yemin Moshe

So to another, much pleasanter, article. It shows the Jerusalem I know and love. I’ve never seen the one most people imagine.

We whizz through Facebook liking, commenting and sharing. When we like and comment, and particularly when we share, we might think for a second whether what we’re sharing is really what we want our friends to see, but more than a second just isn’t available. So we hit Share and hope for the best.

Some time ago, someone unfriended me for a video I shared. It was a video that showed up some lies. Possibly it went too far in the other direction. The fact is, I didn’t think about it too much until it happened. Fortunately, she changed her mind later.

It’s happened again, but this time it’s nothing to do with me. Someone blocked someone else for sharing a photo created by a far right group. The poster doesn’t support the group and didn’t think about the significance of posting the photo. The other person could have discussed the problem rather than blocking.

Is blocking ever the right reaction? I think it is if someone is constantly posting stuff you don’t want to see.

And when else? When is blocking right and when is it not right? What do you think?

I wrote this comment recently on Catdownunder’s blog when she wrote about the joys of Twitter:

When you suffer from social anxiety, Twitter gives you an opportunity to feel as competent as the people you’re chatting to. Well, almost.

Almost, because I still worry that what I write doesn’t really express what I want to say. Or that what I write could be deemed rude or weird or something else I don’t intend. Or that the person I’m chatting with doesn’t really want to chat with me. So I often take too long to reply.

But yes, I like Twitter, and Facebook, and emails, and blog comments. I like the interaction that I miss or struggle with in the real world.