2013 VOF Week 1 - The power of Web 2.0 - my take
Ever since I was a child, I have lived feeling I was never going to be good enough, that I could never keep up with my far-fetched dreams. Formal education and living conditions in Romania gave me a strong sense of path-dependence – once you’re on a track, it seems harder and harder to change – almost everybody around me said it in some way. A constant reminder of “you have to adapt” often made me feel helpless, not knowing where I should start changing things. I’m currently making an effort to make the best of the present and summarizing where I currently am now gives my digital endeavor even more sense: I’ve become a print journalist through passion, trial and error, rather than through the rigor of journalism schools. I refuse to feel discouraged in the face of print media’s decay and I feel Web 2.0 is vital for me to take action and reinvent myself.
Digital media gives me courage: I can dare write about topics I would have dropped otherwise, bound for rejection as they wouldn’t sell. I can start with a blog. I know it’s not that simple and that with freedom of exposure comes also a great deal of responsibility and persistency, but this challenge is a perfect motivator. I’m only clicks away from a potential global audience that could find some common ground in the realities I’m discussing. For instance, a chronic problem, such as lack of sanitation in rural areas, has become so trite that resignation is frequently the only reaction to a report. People in Romania know about it and just a reminder of how things stand is not enough.
But digital tools help me ask for help. I can write an online post and stir reactions from near and afar, while people facing similar situations can bring to light their own experiences, adding value to a discussion, and why not, even bringing the problem a step further towards a solution. The World Pulse platform itself speaks to me about online empowerment – I and fellow women around the world can bridge distances and bring problems to light. While I might not have the prowess of a professional journalist, I can use digital tools in good faith and find support in an online community which can help me take a leap to a more proactive career and lifestyle that I’ve been afraid to pursue so far.
I could list and comment on all the online tools at my disposal and offer a larger view on the women empowerment movement and it wouldn’t be exhaustive. But to me, it all comes to giving online strength to each and every woman – both the ones talking about problems and those facing them; you don’t have to master Web 2.0, but use it efficiently, be accountable, reach out, take advantage of all the positive and negative feedback you get and ultimately avoid a sense of helplessness in the face of systemic problems because you know you are not alone.