When I finished my ‘O’ level some 15 years ago, there are people I thought I would never meet again in life. Thanks for Facebook, I have reconnected with these long-lost friends. I have come to see their spouses and children and sometimes i even know what they are having for dinner. I can chat to these people in real time, while I sit in the comfort of my home. I do not need to go to the post office to buy stamps so that i can post a letter to them.
When i have to drive to an area I do not know, i do not have to sweat with fear of getting lost. At the click of a button, i can access Google Maps and get directions to my destination. Gone are the days when men alone where expected to read newspapers and have 'intelligent' discussions amongst themselves. Now women can access interactive news sites online and make their own contributions and men are fast realizing that we are not just pretty faces. Search engines such as Yahoo! and Google have given women access to information on how other women on the planet are fighting stereotypes and other problems women encounter around the world. For me these are very exciting aspects of Web 2.0.
Web 2.0 has done away with the unwritten rule that women, like children, should just be seen and not heard. Now women's voices are rising throughout the world because of platforms such World Pulse. I am always overwhelmed with pride when I read journal entries of sisters who confess that their English is poor because it is not their first language or because they did not get a proper education. What impresses me is these women are undeterred, they insist on being heard! Other media like TV, radio and newspapers would prefer to speak to the learned and well-spoken ones, but Web 2.0 gives global women the power to claim their place under the sun and the right to be heard, regardless of educational background.
I believe that sometimes there is power in numbers. I recently had a personal crisis and was second-guessing myself. I decided to make journal entry on World Pulse just to get things off my chest and got responses from my online friends which made me more resolute.I would not know which newspaper or radio station to approach if I had something I needed published to a mass audience, but because of Web 2.0 I can write anything i want without fear of censorship. Nobody has to know my real name or see my face, but they will hear my voice. We have such paranoid governments on the African continent and people are terrorized for having divergent views. Web 2.0 has ensured that the basic human right of free speech is exercised without fear of persecution or prosecution under some dubious laws, and to me that is absolute liberation. Our chests do not need to burst with things unsaid anymore, Oh we will be heard!
Take action! This post was submitted in response to Voices of Our Future Application: Empowerment and Web 2.0.