I just returned from Nairobi, where I took part in the Global Voices Summit 2012. I am still overwhelmed by the real impact a virtual network can have.
Gobal Voices is not a virtual network, it is a real community. Community is not created by technical tools. It is made up by humans who belong to a certain group, which follows common values and goals.
We should stop thinking, that the virtual world is becoming real. Rather than thinking social media is having a greater influence on our live I’d prefer the notion that we, as humans, are taking control of the tools. All the technical means we have at hand right now are tools which enable us to communicate faster and better. We –the humans – are communicating, not the tools we use. It is humans who are searching common interests, common goals, common values.
It is the humans who are hugging people that they see for the first time in their live. They have never met them before. They only communicate via mail or skype or social media. But they hug when they meet, because there is such a closeness between them.
It is the humans who feel so close to the one sitting next to them in a coference room, because they are working together on the same project, have the same ideas, the same goals.
I am very thankful, that I not only belong to one, but to two such networks. Besides Global Voices, I am also a member of Texttreff, a German network of women, whose common ground is the work on texts. They are journalists, authors, translators, copywriters, editors, proofreaders and much much more. Here it is also the sense of belonging to that group which has such a strong impact.
Both networks have in common, that they have regular meetings, where the members can meet in person. This is in my view a very important aspect of the social media network becoming a real community.
I am overwhelmed by the closeness that is created by the term „we“. We belong to the same organisation. We are working on something together. We give and we take. We listen and give advice. We try to accomplish the same goals. We help each other. We are there in cases of emergency. We cry and we laugh together. We are following common values.
We are Global Voices.
Thank you GV!