Egypt Offline: We’re So Full of It
And by it, I mean shit.
Egypt’s Government shut-off of the internet has sparked the expected Twitter trending topic, Facebook fan pages with a gazillion ‘Likes’ and spam-levels of emails with a powerpoint presentation of photos you’ve already seen.
- This is not a knock on social network websites. I do believe that they teach/enable/empower free speech, and therefore, freedom.
- There is nothing wrong with us talking about it over these same networks.
But lets be clear: we’re gossiping over the water-cooler.
A retweet with the #Egypt hashtag won’t do anything to help those in the conflict. You’ll feel a lot better, true. And maybe, some geeks will have a moment of pleasure seeing the whole internet looking at them.
But very soon they’ll notice we’re just looking. And talking. Even if you post/write/tweet/scream “INJUSTICE” at the top of your bandwidth, we’re still in the bleachers, looking down on the events. Clicking, clicking, clicking.
Of course, some click their way to making a difference. But this implies you have to protest, to disrupt, to break things. It can be hacking a site or writing a document that gets summited to court (blogpost is still gossiping).
This new networked planet allows us to be equally affected by people and issues far and close; yet we somehow neglect items very near because they don’t arrive through the modem.
Preventing and protesting this type of control locally, does a heck of a lot more than telling angry, scared and tired people half a world away that your tweets are with them.