Citizens of the Internet

The article written by Linda Herrera gave descriptive insight into post revolutionary Egypt with special attention on youth involvement and their ubiquity on the web, thus becoming the “wired generation.” The article ties very well with what is occurring in the United States as well in regards to how our generation is “interconnected,” and have “values distinct from generations who came of age in a pre-digital era” (335). Furthermore, I also think its interesting how the article ties into discussion the relevance of the degenerative side of the internet. I think it is interesting to address this side in order to understand the caution one should proceed with when using the internet.

An interesting topic that Linda Herrera brought up within her article was the conclusion drawn that uprisings usually occur and become alive if people are able to exploit political wrongdoings, and “innovate in cultural and intellectual spheres” (337), as Herrera explained is exactly what this “wired generation” did during the Arab youth uprisings. Herrera continues to support her case with biographical evidence from the youth involved at the time of the Arab uprisings, one of these youths being 22 year old Mona.

In Herrera’s article, Mona’s biography provides us with the perspective of what life of an Egyptian youth was like and how her actions against Egyptian taboo opened her mind in order for her to form her own opinions. Another Student, Murad, in a similar situation, was drawn to participate in online games where he learned about accepting differences between players. It was situations like these online that catalyzed a large group of youth to become enlightened through technology, and as one youth described,  “a gateway to heaven.” What technology has done overall to Egyptian youth before the revolution, was open doors to the world for young people like Mona and Murad to build their own opinions and ideas, which then led to the youth demographic to question their ruling governments authority.

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2 thoughts on “Citizens of the Internet

  1. While you’re in school, you hear from your parents, professors, and social media about how technology is eating us up alive. On the other hand, I think it’s shocking to hear how the internet is enabling progression for the youth in Egypt. It makes me think about questioning our utilization of technology for certain advantages rather than blaming on technology as a whole for some mistakes.

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  2. This. I think this entire argument is undervalued when one debates the pros and cons of the internet evolution and subculture. Yes, it’s given us short attention spans, and yes, it pushes us towards instant gratification, but the drawbacks could never outweigh the awe that is the whole world connected. Especially in countries like Egypt, where freedom of speech is not a given and learning about new cultures is not as easy as going to the local Chinatown or Panaderia. Of course our values are distinct from our parents, most generations are, otherwise it would mean a lapse in human evolution. It’s up to us to try to keep practicing the good values the internet has taught us, and leave the bad ones. It is first and foremost, a tool, which can be used positively or negatively.

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