I live for the web. I call my laptop, “My lappy” and my “best friend.” I have ‘real’ friends, it’s just that like most people these days, I spend most of my time on the web. The web enables me to organise and conduct my work, learn, be inspired, network, pursue leisure activities, and even hang out with friends. Whenever my laptop stalls or goes “technologically crazy,” like an overbearing mother, I fuss and fret about it until order is restored. I’m one of those people when I see the rainbow wheel spinning on my Mac, I have to press buttons, even though I know this will only delay normal function.
As a writer, the web for me generates excitement. At night I reluctantly shut down, and when I do, my last thoughts are, 'What will tomorrow bring,' and 'how my day must be organised?' In the morning, I reach for my laptop before a toothbrush, hairbrush, and even breakfast...that’s how excited I get! But what really inspires me about Web 2.0 is the possibilities it brings in a world where it feels like our sense of community is eroding, and yet Mother Earth’s population is bursting at the seams. The traditional community of the past is gradually being substituted with the new online community. The plus side is that it offers global interaction, information, news, and opportunities all in real-time.
For the global women’s empowerment movement, Web 2.0 has two main functions: it exposes local, national, and international concerns that might have otherwise been unaccessible. Then shared resources and collaborations from people across the web, address innovative solutions to those issues. My mother, and other strong women in my life always taught me, ‘knowledge is power,’ and so I embrace the web with open arms. Today, access to the web, and the knowledge of how to use it, brings power. This “Global Village” of ‘collective intelligence’ is a fertile breeding ground for self-expression, collaborations, and creativity to reach new levels.
For many women, particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds, the web creates a powerful space for expression.
Do not underestimate the power of women, because when our voices are heard, we can rule the world! Through shared experiences women become educated, liberated, and empowered to elicit social change in their community. As I write this, my mind conjures images of female leaders such as Beyoncé, Margaret Thatcher, Aung San Suu Kyi (The Burmese Pro-democracy Leader), and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (Managing Director of the World Bank), to name a few. As women tap into the power of the web, we can create a positive legacy that will inspire the next generation of women and female leaders.