In her article, Linda Herrera talked to and quoted Mona, the chatroom enthusiast about the fear of her post leading to government consequences. Mona told her “What are they going to do, arrest millions of us?” Safe to say she wasn’t scared about her outspoken online presence. But should she be? Looking at articles on MadaMasr, the fear of being scooped up by the police still seems like a big deal. The article about 8 civilians sentenced to death through military trial also mentioned that within that institution 7,420 civilians have been processed through military trials and as many as 327 were linked into one mass trial. That is frightening. But many are willing to still take the risk seeing as the numbers really are huge with millions of Egyptians now on Facebook connecting with the rest of the country and the world.
The early part of the article mentioned video games, chat rooms, and blogs which reminded me of the discussion in class about the use of Reddit. Anonymity was a great way for Mona, Murad, and countless others to interact with the global internet community. But Facebook allowed them to be public while still hiding behind barriers such as not adding strangers and discussing issues with their friends and community member turning this new generation into a conscious one very active in political and cultural change.
The MENA youth especially in places like Egypt with their high unemployment rate probably led to many looking to fill their time with something stimulating and something to that allowed them to pour out their thoughts and frustrations. Having them all together online perhaps led them to understand their issues came from their government. So naturally, they formed solidarity against the government while at the same time learning about the rest of the world in hope of influencing their own country to move in that direction a bit; the achieved “actuality” through their interactions with each other and the media. If anything, the “short” attention span online probably helped their cause. By moving from different influences like movies and movements to different social media networks like blogs to Facebook, their ideas and consciousness just kept developing and growing leading to faster and a more serious demand for change.