After we met with Jeremiah at Forrester Research, he wrote a blog about my generation being the "Obama Generation" and how his Presidency along with social media will affect my (our) lives. At the end he asked the question about what are some other characteristics of the Internet that may link us to our government.
To me, the Internet is one big "web" of communication. It can be used to strengthen our relationships with others in an open-access community (such as I am doing with my blog) by forms of direct communication with our friends and family. Free applications such as Blogger have enabled me to do this and have given me the opportunity for a much larger voice than before the Internet. The idea of Blogging particularly interests me because it gives people the opportunity to get their voice out over media censoring (not that any of my content would be censored....yet). More than ever in Silicon Valley did I hear of stories that had yet to be published online because of people who were at the event were able to submit a post on twitter to their followers and the word was out. I wonder what will happen as the concentration of independent media increases and democratizes media control over the content we are presented?
Looking at this from a non-cynical point of view, I feel that the Internet can help lead our country to the core source of democracy, where the people lead and the leaders follow. Internet has opened up a new door for more people to be heard. Stories can be told in many way from uploading your video on YouTube, podcasting, blogging, journalism, and other forms of independent media that is sprouting up. These forms of media (as long as they stay open access and less regulated) allow citizens to break the barriers of censorship and expose their own opinions free of political bias. This can only lead to more forms of debate with our President online at places such as WhiteHouse.gov. The biggest problem is getting people to voice their opinions and making sure their voices be heard online. As more voices are gained, it can lead to more serious and thought provoking debates along with more viewer attention.
In all, the possibilities for where the Internet can take democracy is endless. The ideas we heard about on our trip were things that I never had imagined possible. Who knows what will be invented next and how it will change our lives? When I graduated high school I never expected to see my President on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube but this is the way it is unfolding. How we interact with Him and our community members is in our control.
Create, Inspire and be Inspired.