Friday, May 20, 2011

The Internet Apparition

Peter Delevett reports on Mercury News: In an IPO certain to further turbo-charge the social networking industry, LinkedIn on Thursday notched the most jaw-dropping Wall Street debut for an Internet company since Google. The glorious rise of it’s share-price from $32 at it’s debut to $120 certainly sweep the silicon valley with frenzied optimism.

Outside the glares of the stock markets, Social Media, apparently also hijacked the pivotal heights of our socio-political breathing. Nicholas Kristof of New York Times remarked on the 2009 Protests in Iran:The quintessential 21st century conflict…on one side are government thugs firing bullets…on the other side are young protesters firing ‘tweets’.

Almost half a billion people worldwide were watching live Internet streams of Kate and William’s wedding with 400 million viewers tuning into Youtube alone.

It’s very symbolic that the only significant speech on ‘freedom’ coming from Barack Obama’s administration was Hillary Clinton’s speech on the freedom of the Internet in January 2010!

However, before we let ourselves washed out by the torrents of globalization spill, we must take a pause to realize that like that of globalization, the impact of Social Media too is often blown out of proportion, perhaps unknowingly, by Cyber-Utopians.

Journalist and social commentator Evgeny Morozov writes in his avant garde book The Net Delusion: The cyber-utopians belief that the Internet would turn us into uber-tolerant citizens of the world, all too eager to put our vile prejudices on hold and open up our minds to what we see on our monitors, has proved to be unfounded. In most cases, the only people who still believe in the ideal of an electronic global village are those who would have become tolerant cosmopolitans even without the Internet: the globe-trotting intellectual elite. The regular folk don’t read sites like Global Voices, an aggregator of the most interesting blog posts from all over the world; instead, they are much more likely to use the Internet to rediscover their own culture—and, dare we say it, their own national bigotry.

The truth about the Green Revolution in Iran is that the revolutionaries who could be identified on social-networking sites were put behind the bars by the Ahmadinejad regime and the despotic government took virulent measures to curb cyber freedom. They also went a step further to use technology in their favor to promote Islamic fundamentalism.

Another truth is: As per The Economist, only 3% of people live outside their country of birth.