A Slightly Longer Tweet..

I was in Jordan attending the Arab Social Media forum last Friday and it was a crazy/ beautiful adventure:  from the hotel occupancy of only one floor (the 2nd one) to the scarcity of Wi- Fi in guest rooms (thus having to count sheep to sleep instead of browsing the net) to the absolutely unusual landing back in Beirut (the longest landing of my life due to the oddly stormy weather).. but what I found to be most rewarding is the fact that I have finally- like many other Arab Social Media Forum ( #ASMF ) attendees-  managed to put names to so many wonderful faces I have been interacting with on Twitter for the past year or so, people who have proved to be so simply and genuinely interested in the “handle” of a Twitter account.

I’ve always had this dilemma in my head about whether “virtual” communication could really overtake one’s “real” social life or not and the answer is yes, it could (as highlighted in many global and local surveys) , only if not well managed… BUT, if one’s online presence is well managed (i.e.: he/she can still – monotaskingly or not- sleep, eat, work, shop, socialize with family & friends AND get online) then it can only enrich his/her life -on and off the net. One of the event’s speakers (the only woman speaker and the very resourceful Sylvia Cambie) discussed the importance of using online social media (such as Twitter) to do social good- and  while she was at it, I was thinking to myself: that’s it, right here- she must be stating the obvious : social media is already doing social good – by getting people together- from all over the planet-  to the same platform and prompting them  to share their  ideas, voice their concerns, seek guidance and support , receive honest and transparent feedback (and expect  nothing in return- well OK- except for an online mention maybe or re-tweet here and there)- What is the equivalence of a mention or a re-tweet in a traditional human relationship today, I wonder? How willing are we to invest in others expecting nothing in return?

And then you attend a social event (tweet-up in the case of Twitter) such as the Arab Social Media Forum, and you meet all these wonderful smart tweeters and you figure: they’re only as delightful and shrewd in real life as they are online.. Is Social Media making us friendlier, happier, more transparent, more genuine, more giving and (most importantly) more intellectual Queens and Kings of the universe? I, for one, think it is…

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About monakaraoui

Editor by day, journal blogger by night.. View all posts by monakaraoui

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