To be a digital native
In what kind of world do we want to live? Is it possible to prevent information from spreading at the current digitalized world? How is it about personal information? Is it okay that the whole world could know what you did last night? Or instead do you prefer to embrace the possibilities that the internet offers you, instead of spending time on thinking about these risks?
You see, there are a lot of questions unanswered - and all of them are highly relevant to all of us! In order to dwell upon this topic, 32 people convened in Lisbon, first to participate in the New Media Summer School 2013 and then to attend the EuroDIG - the European Dialogue on Internet Governance. Both events are yearly organized and the Summer School is actually a side event of the EuroDIG.
During the summer school, one of the biggest debates was the Privacy vs. Post-Privacy: Should we better protect our information on the internet and social networks and have the control of our personal data? Or should we try to transform our society into a more open and tolerant one?
Apart from this big debate, other topics at the NMSS were Hate speech on the Internet and its effect on the society, social media and its reflections on the recent revolutions. Since we also had participants from Tunisia and Egypt who were active in these movements, we received a unquestionable and valuable first-hand information in how these processes were built from the beginning thanks to social networks and the Internet.
After the NMSS, it was time for the EuroDIG. More than 600 participants from all over Europe not only from civil right movements, but also from internet companies and governments attended the event where participants discussed mainly about the possibilities to regulate the internet in order to ensure that human rights are preserved.
So who would you expect in this event? People who are under 40 with technical and human rights background? Wrong! A lot of people had no idea about new technologies. Twitter, for example, was highly dominated by us - which was great, since a lot of the panel discussions were dominated by long statements and rather few possibilities to directly interact. Therefore, the Twitterwall was a nice way to interact and show, that also we as digital natives have an understanding about the topics and different perspectives.
We spent an awesome week along with very diverse participants and interesting discussions. The ones who grew up with technology and want to freely use it could make their voices heard. And, after all, of course the group socialized enjoying the vibrant night life of Lisbon and bars in Barrio Alto.
But there is a lot to do! This topic will be extremely relevant in the future and a lot of people still do not understand in which way we want to use the internet in the future. That is why we want to organize debates and trainings that enable our members to develop understanding and opinion in these matters. Furthermore, we will have to think about the ways to make ourselves heard outside of our group!
Participant of NMSS