There is so much happening in the whole wide world! And the blogosphere makes it all so easy to access.
The internet is truly changing our society. Not just within our town, or within our countries – it is truly allowing people from all ‘corners of the world’ to build up a common pool of knowledge. I truly think that the blogosphere is one of the most effective tools driving this change for the better. (As a matter of fact, that is why, few months ago, I decided to join it!)
The blogosphere is not merely a communication tool, it is a completely new ‘animal’.
It may facilitate the exchange of information, but it is not just the sort of ‘information’ that ‘reading the same newspaper’ or ‘watching the same newscast’ could convey. After all, as the mainstream media (msm) had already discovered, transmitting factual information is only a part of any ‘story’. While the msm has attempted to ‘flesh out’ their stories by including that ‘human experience’ factor, their medium is uniquely unsuitable to such a job. Instead of adding dimension to their coverage of world events, they end up appearing to be manipulating the emotional context and reducing ‘news’ to ‘gossip’.
Add to this that many new journalists are being taught in school to put emphasis on ‘reporting the news and facts and presenting them in a manner which will indicate to the audience what their appropriate response should be’. In other words, the very journalists whom we used to rely on to report unbiased facts only are being taught in journalism schools to be the tools of social engineers…
No wonder the msm are becoming irrelevant!
The blogosphere, on the other hand, is actually really, really good at adding a real human dimension to what is happening in the world around us.
Because it is so highly interactive! Because it is made up of millions of individuals! Individuals from ALL over the world, with all kinds of backgrounds, all points of view!
That is what makes the blogosphere so powerful!
I do not have to rely on some pretty/serious/demure/outraged face on TV to tell me how people on the other side of the world ‘feel’ about some event. I don’t have to read a ‘cookie-cutter’ story with a preset word-count, surrounded by pointless ads, the ink of which is bound to come off on my fingers. If I don’t like the slant of the story, or if I notice factual inaccuracies, I don’t have to be one of thousands of phone calls or emails or letters-to-editor, hoping, despite the odds, to be noticed…
Instead, I can go and look for a real live blogger (OK, I only access their virtual personnas’ posts, but I find these represent a real person, who can use the internet as a shield – and thus expose more of their ture self than they would ever dare in a person-to-preson interaction) who actually is from that part of the world. And it is not somebody who makes a living from ‘how’ they report the event – which necessitates ‘offocial spin’. Yes, there will necessarily be ‘personal spin’ – as in, it will reflect the person’s perceptions and understanding of what happened and thoughts and emotions about it. But they will actually be ‘that person’s’!
And I can go to many bloggers there – and get many different individual points of view. If I don’t understand things, I can post a comment – and usually get answers that are very useful and educational….and very personal. And if I like that blogger, I am likely to re-visit the site from time to time – just to keep in touch with what is happening in that part of the world and what is happening with that blogger.
That makes a world of difference.
In a very real sense, the ‘bloggers of the world’ establish a virtual community.
We may never meet in person, but that is not necessary to develop an empathy, an understanding – to let them into our monkeysphere! That means we begin to perceive ‘our familiar bloggers’ as people, as individuals. All of a sudden, should a tragedy occur in a faraway place, the body count is not just a statistic: these are our virtual friend’s families!
It is impossible to overstate the incredible power in the combination of being able to access uncensored information and points of view along with establishing social bonds with people all over the world!
After all, it always affects us much more deeply if a wrong happens to someone we are connected to than if it happens to a stranger….
Now, we not only learn what happened, we know it happened to someone connected to our social network. One of us. Without these social bonds, most of us would lack the depth of desire to affect change.
During successful wars, the governments/rulers kept tight control over the flow of information – and used propaganda to dehumanize the ‘enemy’ into an abstraction! Only then could they manipulate people into a war… Large part of the US military failure in Vietnam was due to the fact that the American people were recieving more uncensored information from the frontlines than ever before.
Make no mistake, this lesson has been learned by opressors everywhere!
It is not surprising, then, that censors and manipulators and social engineers are all waging a war on the blogosphere!
In Canada, it is in the gray drab of bureacratic HRCs which ban people from ‘ever expressing their opinions or thoughts or emotions’ on a subject…. They appear to follow a clear, well defined process, but use this process to bring financial ruin to those whose opinions they disapprove of, and silence them thus.
Let us hope the blogosphere is strong enough to withstand these attacks and continue to re-shape the world into a better place.