VOF Week 1: (Freedom of Expression by Web 2.0)
Web 2.0 for me is a friend and a medium for venting. Until I graduated, I did not know if anything like blogging existed. I always had this need to share my stories, to pen down what I was feeling. I had no outlet then except for my personal diary. Something was missing-my diary could not give me any words of encouragement when I was feeling low, could not rejoice with me over my achievements. I needed someone who, without being judgmental, would share the euphoria of feelings that I was going through. My search was over after a friend of mine told me about blogging. Now I write things on my blogs, and when people comment, it gives me a sense of satisfaction like never before.
The two-way interaction that web 2.0 enables is the most exciting thing about it. Networking sites like Orkut and Facebook has changed my relationships with people I have known all my life. There were some people who were just associates, and I knew nothing about their lives. Such networking sites have not only helped me get a peep into the lives of those people, but it has also helped me know my closest of friends better. In addition, now I know the friends of my friend’s friends, which is such a wonderful thing.
Web 2.0 has also provided opportunities from women across the globe to express themselves without inhibition. Through the web, women can not only share their inspirational stories, but also learn from the experiences of women across the globe. In this quest of empowerment, the best thing that has happened is falsifying of the age old anecdote that says “women can be other women’s worst enemy.” Groups like http://www.women2.org are a testimony to the fact that women can be women’s best friends and not worst enemies. Similarly, sites like http://www.blogher.com, although not a web 2.0 site per say, are bringing together large number of web 2.0 women with all sorts of backgrounds. The increasing use of web 2.0 is opening unparallel opportunities for women to collaborate with each other and break into areas traditionally inaccessible to them.
Everywhere around the world, women are said to “do things”. Rarely can they follow their heart and do “what they want to do.” But Web 2.0 has enabled women to speak up and “No one” can ask them to “Shut-Up” or “Stop doing it.” This source of freedom is one of the best things about this technology. Getting to read blogs of women even from war-ravaged countries is such an enlightening experience for me. They being able to express themselves from regions where they have no voice or rights and freedom of speech give me the courage to keep on fighting despite all odds. When I read their stories, I am reminded of the life I have been gifted of and to continue on my quest to achieve what I intend to achieve…..