Thursday, June 5, 2014
Using technology to connect the world and the responsibility of those who use it.
I think it has become very apparent that as a global community have become more and more connected. The internet, cell phones, and other recent developments in technology has made this all easier. During my time in London, after I realized how to make the calls properly, I was able to call my parents a few times. Over my time here at CSC, I have met some awesome people who are international students. I may not have talked to many of them in a while, I still have access, in to at least 30 of them on Facebook (definitely more than that, but that is all I can find for now). That is every continent with the exception of Antarctica. This allows me to be connected to the world around me and afar, and I have used it. For instance I talked to a friend in Pakistan to get their perspective on the killing of Osama Bin Laden, people from Ukraine, on their perspective on the situation in Crimea, a friend from Libya who was there as the conflict started about three and a half years ago, a friend from Egypt who was here during the Arab Spring and back home during their second revolution, etc… In all of these senses and others social connectedness is important. As of recent, especially with Ukraine, the Ukrainian people tried to raise public outcry by making Youtube videos, and other internet media to raise international support and outcry over what was happening with the Ukrainian government even before Russia got involved. Things like this could help pubic work towards charities such as the American Red Cross (also may involve local charities), these could help fund the resistance or humanitarian as well as other efforts or public using political pressure to get governments involved. Also when a person is in a country recovering from a major uprising, we do not know who could take the lead in the uprising, or a similar social media post that could rally for support in a stable country can also happen in a lesser stable country. Now, of course someone on either side could say something online or do something in their country that makes a difference. That is part since we are so interconnected nationally as well as internationally.
With all of that said, we need to be smart in how we do it. Not everyone wants thoughts of outsiders. At the end of the day when you are not in a country in peril, it is a lot easier to throw around advice then to do, well, anything. Along with that, we are talking about electric media and heck, even physical media can be infiltrated by governmental personal, and during these times they may want to hurt people on certain sides. During some of my conversations with people I was afraid that we were talking about this on Facebook. This is a website that is well known worldwide. When I was talking to my friend from Libya, the internet was shut down in his country. I knew nothing about what happened to him. One day one of his friends posted on his name from Egypt that he was fine. After six months he finally posted something, at that point I knew I could contact him, but I was afraid for to contact him. Along with that, too many outside viewpoints could cause strife in what they are trying to do. Probably the only thing worse than having two sides that will not agree in a government, is having two sides who will not agree in a developing government. Activists and reporters have been arrested. People like those in Egypt have put people in prison for speaking against their government.
Now, I know what you are thinking, that I am taking internet conversations too far, and that there are few people who may contact each other that would be useful in a rebellion or a development of a government. Yet, think about some of the players in the American Revolution (including those from the Boston Tea Party or Paul Revere, who was a metal worker. We could also consider those in the Civil Rights Movement, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. started his following as a minister. At the end of the day, when you are talking to someone on the internet, you do not know who they are going to be, and neither do they. With that said, tread softly, and pass on some good ideas, who know, you may help write a country’s constitution without ever setting foot there.