In the aftermath of the Westminster terror attack #WeAreNotAfraid, #LondonStrong, #WeAreLondon and other hashtags flooded social media as means to unit and say “the terrorist didn’t win, London is strong, London is together, London is not afraid”.
Well, you might want to wake up and smell the coffee as terror is on its way for a knock out.
What the Western world might not understand is that the bar for a successful terror attack is quite low. All a terror attack really needs to be doomed successful is star in news headlines and social media feeds for a couple of days a row. The purpose of terror is to take people off their track by diverting significant attention to the attack. If you spent more time today watching news, posting in social media, reading articles and discussing the attack with colleagues — you did just what terror wants you too.
Admit it or not, the more time you spend thinking of terror, the more aware you become to the risk and more worried you become of the potential to be impacted by terror. In other words, the attacker terrorizes people not necessarily by physically threatening many but rather by creating a wave of discussion around the incident.
It seems that naivety strikes again. Messages of unity and tolerance are wonderful but have little contribution to actually fighting terror. Though we post these solidarity messages, deep inside us, attack after attack, the fear grows. Suddenly there are places we don’t want to go, events we avoid and general increase in anxiety. Suddenly we live a bit differently.
My hashtags are #FightTerror, #WeAreUnderAttack, #BritsAreFighters.
Let’s not change our profile picture to Union Jack and post supportive messages until the next attack comes along so we can do more of the same. Let’s clearly say, we are under attack, these are the attackers and that’s what we’re going to do to target people affiliated with this group. Let’s not live in an alternative reality.