Diasporas and the Internet
When I think about the Internet, the first thing that comes to mind is social media networks. Social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter, allow millions of people to connect via the internet with their friends and family all over the world. Founded in 2004, Facebook is currently listed as one of the top social media website. With over 100 million active users, Facebook has become a vital element in our everyday life.
Whether your scrolling through photos, commenting on the walls of others, playing games (like me), or video chatting; Facebook definitely help us stay connected to the ones we love. For Caribbean immigrants as well as many other immigrants who live outside of their homeland, Facebook has become one of the best free ways immigrants are able to stay connected to their homeland. In the Digital Diasporas: Identity and Transitional Engagement by Jennifer Brinkerhoff, Brinkerhoff explains the way in which immigrants living outside of their homeland, use the Internet as a tool for promoting change in their homeland. According to Brinkerhoff, ” in the case of Somali diaspora (Somalinet), a cybercommunity, highlights how diasporas use the internet to consider prospect for peace in their home country and generate understanding across clan divides within the diaspora. The Tibetan diasporas organization (Tibet Board) offers opportunities to explore how diasporas can use the internet to sustain a homeland identity when reparation is unlikely, and to question, shape, and promote political perspectives on the fate of the homeland. And the Nepali case, Thamel.com, demonstrates how the internet can be used to sustain diaspora links to the homeland and channel remittance (particularly form migrant workers) to contribute to the local homeland economy as whole, rather than individual families alone” (Brinkerhoff, p.18). Brinkerhoff does an excellent job of explaining how different diasporas use the internet to stay connected to their homeland and also, to promote change in their homeland.
over the course of several years, Facebook and Twitter have become vital tools in prompting change all over the world. From President Barack Obama 2008 presidential campaign, to the occupy wall street movement, social media has definitely become a tool for promoting change. While browsing the Internet, I came across a social media site called Mashable which displays a list of “9 Social Media Uprising That Sought to Change the World”. The web site offer a an information pertaining to different social media uprisings that sought to change the world.
The internet can be used for more than just playing games, commenting on posts, and surfing through photos. And if everyone who has access to the internet could simply take a little time out of their day to use the internet in a way that helps promote change, the world might actually become a better place for all.