1000 Posts In, I’m Still Surprised by How the Internet Connects Us

This is my 1000th post on feelingelephants and every day at my internship with the Berkman Center for Internet and Society I find one more reason to believe the internet helps us make connections which are unique to our time. There’s a big academic debate between web pessimists and web optimists about whether the internet is democratizing or not, freeing or not, transformative or not.

I’ll say wholeheartedly that I am an optimist, and here are two samples of why.

The first is a collection of mp3 files sent to Speak2Tweet, a Twitter account hooked up to a phone number that you can call from places in the world where the internet is being censored and get your message out. I haven’t listened to all of their messages, but those I have listened to have all been in Arabic. Here’s one from a a Libyan man calling from an Italian phone number:

[mp3j track="http://www.gstatic.com/speechtotweet/ZUIvOUJRNTliVmwwY2NKck9jbXNGZz09.mp3"]

What I got out of this message was that he wants to support the Libyan youth and this is the best way he can do it (he outstripped my Arabic knowledge pretty fast). Then there’s this: a recording of a public domain recording of “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” recorded between 1915 and 1920 by the Fisk Jubilee Singers and made available to the world by Wikimedia Commons.

That in one week I can listen to gospel music recorded a decade before my grandmother was born and a man whose country is at war on the other side of the world makes me one of the most privileged people in history.

I see no need to be anything but optimistic for the future.

Inspirational Quote:

“The art of love . . . is largely the art of persistence.”–Albert Ellis

Get in touch

%d bloggers like this: