Thursday, 19 May 2011

Democracy 'Declassified'

I am pleased to say that I, like many other South African’s, went and voted yesterday. We vote to make a difference. We vote because we need to and that’s the reality.
I have heard many citizens over the last two weeks making their views vocal either by means of the blogs, Facebook, twitter or even on talk radio, and what got me ticking is the sense of allegiance to a party whether they delivered or not, and the lack of ability of citizens to understand that their single vote in reality-matters. But the thing that shocked me most was that everyone was so openly blurting his or her party of choice on every platform of social networking I can imagine. Isn't it a gift that we all have a vote and shouldn't keep it to ourselves instead of making it our bmm status - “I voted DA- Do the right thing” or “ANC- Black power”?

I am a social networking junkie, don’t get me wrong, I tweet a million times a day, have Facebook, write a blog, whether I have readers or not, have 100 bbm contacts and still manage to surf the net! It would be hypercritical of me to say I don’t have status updates about my every move but aren’t we taking it too far?

My judgment is that while participating in social networking sites, and I do as I have stated, you relinquish all possible notion of privacy and seclusion for all related information. Personally, anything you put on a social network is basically public domain knowledge. I just think we all need to control what we say and where we say it. (I am sounding like a raving lunatic right now) and “tell a therapist, not Facebook”, is what I'm trying to express.
Social networking shouldn’t be a hazard at all: as long as you're using it correctly. I do think I am rather addicted if I’m being honest with myself, I had withdraw symptoms when I didn’t have my phone in Thailand for a month, and it was a good thing. The point I’m making is that I really do think we all take it too far sometimes.

I firmly believe in a time and a place, and increasingly I’m seeing that the internet is being considered as both the correct time and forum – no matter what it is. Maybe we need to re-establish some kind of internet etiquette.

The whole day yesterday I had to see friends of mine on bbm proving a point about whom they were voting for, and most of them don’t even know what they talking about. I would be gripped to see how many people actually did some research prior to the vote. When did your vote become public domain? A contact of a friend of mine took a picture of the ballad sheet and put it up as their profile picture, I mean- really? I find the whole thing juvenile, irrational and all in all- slightly feeble!

For me, my vote was my own business however I did have great discussions with people on the day about who I believed were strong and who deserved my vote, I just didn’t tweet it when I had done it nor did a take a quick snap shot. I just think we all need to take a backseat sometimes- me included.


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