Are #Apologies enough?

“No, in general, it’s not sufficient or meaningful,” was the overall conclusion of a packed Alyth Synagogue youth session on Yom Kippur. The group grappled with issues surrounding the use of social media for atonement such as whether it diminishes the act of repentance.


A quick poll of over forty youths ranging from aged twelve upwards found that all those present had at least one active social media account with the most popular being Instagram and Snapchat, followed closely by Facebook and Whatsapp (which the majority said they used more than texting). So this is a group actively using social media to communicate.


The group agreed that a general broadcast message on Facebook, twitter or Instagram was not enough, especially so if the hurt caused was more serious. The group thought it lacked any true contemplation or sincerity. As one member commented, “A face-to face or phone call is a harder thing to do, but the person you have hurt can hear your voice, it’s personal and more meaningful.”


Some said it really depended on the relationship and the type of hurt caused. It’s really about the one you are asking for forgiveness feeling that you have asked appropriately at the end of the day. Another member thought it could be powerful, if you are asking for forgiveness for something posted on social media – that’s an exception where using the same medium to put something right might be appropriate.


A last couple of sticky issues were raised; any messages would be there forever, except for Snapchat. Several in the group had a Timehop App and one boy said, “Next Yom Kippur in 2016, my Timehop App will remind me of what I did a year ago today and may bring up some uncomfortable memories.” Maybe not such a bad thing after all…