VOF Week One: (It is not by chance that we have found ourselves here)
Meet Handala. The symbol that most people in my region relate to today is: a cartoon character. Handala hasn’t managed to grow up since the war, which turned him into nothing more than a damaged, barefooted refugee. This kid is always alone as he wanders around scenes of cruelty and horror, yet we do not see any reaction or expression on his face, for we cannot even see Handala’s face – he is only portrayed from the back.
On a broader level today, Handala could well be a reflection of who we are – we as lonesome individuals wandering amidst the noise and cruelty of the world, standing faceless, passive, poor and voiceless.
The so-called reality is thrown in front of us as we flip through our hundreds of channels and browse through the millions of sites made available to us. It all gets shoved in our faces between the ads and coffee breaks. Decisions are made, concepts are sold, flesh is labeled, wars are initiated and injustice is justified, and the minute of silence we get is rarely comforting and we do not mind it getting interrupted by the next ad. We observe it all in our passive/voiceless state as our lives get defined for us before we can manage to work it out.
What excites me about Web 2.0 is that in the midst of the chaotic noise and disqualified communication, I find myself to be connected with you. I doubt that it is by chance that we have found ourselves here and decided to stay for a while. You, searching and observing, are walking the same path with me.
Sure, the back of Handala may well be the reflection of the state of today's individual, but perhaps we as individuals are not really alone. Not all of us are too scared to open up our ears in fear of the change that listening might cause. Not all of us are holding on to our unquestionable truths with stubborn conviction. Through the same device, we connect. We make up our OWN media rather than have it shoved in our faces. We identity our OWN stories and relate based on our OWN shared values. In this new form of communication, we get to be a PART of the information-building-process, a PART of our own lives.