The Emotional Safety in Post-IS Iraq
Emotional safety is an important academic term, widely used by psychologists. However, many other specialists have begun hiring it in their scientific works. They all fear that we are living in the time of great turbulence. Thus, they are warning that our social system is globally threatened.
As psychologists define, emotional safety is based on the trust in the human relationships. However, this definition does not include only the romantic relations between men and women. It exceeds this narrow meaning to cover the whole social relations in the cities around the world. Thus, it is truly said that feelings of trust differ from place to another. Here, Geography casts a shadow over the local matters relevant to the emotional safety.
Guillaume Musso, a French novelist, focuses on the theme of time. He confirms that life is short, and we wrongly think that our time is endless. Thus, we do not pay deep attention to many issues affecting our real life. He repeats that this is the biggest sin that humankind makes. Therefore, he calls people around the globe to live accurately. This will lead to achieving the emotional balance that every nation needs. Additionally, he warns that Social Media can reshape our relations negatively.
In light of the above, we have to ask: How could we live normally and peacefully in case we lost the social trust?. This is the setback that many nations are today suffering from. The great companies of informatics are playing their role in consolidating this dangerous trend. An article lately released in the Guardian referred to how Silicon Valley is eating our souls and controlling our future. " Facebook literally changes your relationship with the society, with each other... God only knows what it is doing to our children's brains," stated Sean Parker, the former Facebook president.
The internet and the tiny handful of companies are deciding the behavior of people hugely. "Religions and governments do not have that much influence over people's daily thoughts... But we have three technological companies: Facebook, Google, and Apple," Tristan Harris, a specialist in the ethics of technology, said in the Guardian.
I still remember this saying: All conflicts begin in minds before finding their pathway to the real world. What is going on in the world of Facebook is a certain reflection of this belief. So, it is declared that our wars start in social media. In this context, we find that the west is talking about how the economy can bring to people their emotional safety, while the youth in Iraq are talking about the sectarian superiority as an input to their faked emotional balance. However, they do not admit that they are moving in the wrong direction.
Last week, I asked my students about the time they spend on Facebook. At the minimum, they consume not less than 4 hours daily. They are chatting with people who use fake photos, wrong thoughts, reactionary culture, and very poor Arabic language. They all use the disputed and harmful religious, nationalistic, and sectarian ideas. On the contrary, The economic reform is rarely used in their mutual talks. Thus, the majority of them feel mistrust and more alienation. This, for sure, can not consolidate any kind of emotional safety for them. Social Media here is playing a very critical role in disrupting the national identity, and in destroying the creative interaction among the Iraqis. This behavior will not help us to recover the community in the cities recently freed from IS.
With reference to Musso, he asserts that time does not wait for us. Thus, it is the crucial moment for every Iraqi person to become a Changemaker, and to become a participant in producing the collective emotional safety. We must all be aware of what we write on Facebook, and what are the information and ideas we discuss or exchange with the others. We must defend each other against all the forms of exploitation used in Social Media by bad politicians, businessmen, and those who do not like the prosperity of our country.
In sum, We have to realize that Iraq is suffering from a stifling social crisis. The Iraqi people are lacking the emotional safety and their life is dissipated in a grave way. We are in urgent need of a new education and culture that can help us to learn how to live peacefully, and how to manage the population diversity. This is one of the most important steps we have to take, if we want to feel that we are secured emotionally, politically, socially, and economically.
Diyari Salih is an Iraqi academic, Ph.D. in Political Geography, Baghdad, Post-Doctorate in International Relations, Warsaw, Focuses on the Geopolitical Issues in Iraq.