• How digital has empowered me by Poorvi Gupta

    For a girl working at producing content for the internet, it is necessary for me to constantly be hooked on to the internet for most part of my days. Well, to put it simply, digital has become a way of life for me. It has made me reach global news at any time of the day or night, to simply helping me relax by reading some funny trolls or even building up my knowledge base by reading content by great writers online. While some may discard it by saying that it snatches away our innocence by making available much more stuff than needed, I would say otherwise. Stick to this article to know how digital has empowered me and helped me evolve every single day.

    1.    Information on the go

    A decade back, I could not have imagined having a platform with all the information available- about everything I needed to know- all the time. Yes, there was Google and other search engines on the internet. But now it has reached our mobile phones which currently are our most dear gadgets. With having internet on my mobile phone, I know that I cannot be duped as the empowerment comes from having adequate information about any given situation.

    Having information available because of the digital medium, I think, has influenced our lives enormously. Now if I am going to a restaurant and I see the manager charging service tax without providing me with amenities like air-conditioning, I know I can check my facts and question the manager confidently.

    2.    Power to be your own boss

    So physically you cannot just shut people off because there is a certain level of mutual respect that you have to maintain. But voila! It’s completely normal and possible in the virtual space. Since I have to be very social online, I get to talk to a lot of people to know their opinions on different subjects. While most of these people are extremely sweet and gentle, some speed bumps are always there. Being on the digital space while chitchatting gives you the power to filter out the people you don’t want in your virtual life.

    It gives you the power to manage the set of people you want to interact with for a healthy discussion. Also, since there is a detached feeling you have for people in the virtual world, you generally don’t give much thought before blocking a person off your list. That’s a sense of empowerment, you feel right there!

    3.    Brought the world together

    Before the digital boom entered our lives, were we actually so much aware of what was happening in the middle-east with all the military infringement? It was only through big biased news agencies did we get our daily dose of the world news. But today it is possible for a ten-year-old kid to post a clip of bombings in Syria and it going viral and reaching me sitting on my work desk at my house in India.

    The digital space has dissolved all the partitions and boundaries making the world come together as one. I read Facebook statuses of people, stories of common people who stood together in times of distress at ground in Paris when it was attacked and felt hugely supportive. Now I could only generate that emotion because I was constantly in touch with the big event that happened in a far away land, with the power of internet.

    4.    Acts as a weapon

    A mere tweet of 140 characters with a picture can make anything go viral and start ‘trending’ the word that has become so popular in the current times. Today, I know what digital powers I can use being a girl out in the streets and sometimes at late hours. In my growing years, I used to be wary and constantly contemplating of ways that I would use to rescue myself if I was to be attacked. While now you can post a note about any injustice happening to you on the internet and it is bound to spread and get the right attention.

    A friend of mine bought a phone from a very popular brand of mobiles. The set she bought had some manufacturing glitches which she talked to the customer services. And sometimes these customer service people make you go round and round with no profitable results. That is exactly what happened with her for about five months. Dejected at the services provided to her, she posted a status about it and I tagged the company in one of the comments. I also tweeted about it again tagging the company, and my friend was called for a replacement of the mobile phone in a matter of few days.

    5.    A way to express opinion with a hope of being heard

    Do you think if you have to make a point, you can do that with about 400 to 500 people listening to you at the same time? If you are no celebrity, that is! The digital space gives you that strength to be your own celebrity making your voice heard by a variety of people all at one point of time.

    I know that if I post something online, it is going to be read, if not agreed with, but the point is that my point is going out there. The point is everyone can raise a voice and it will be heard, if not reacted to at the very least, but heard. And this is the reason I feel highly empowered being on the digital arena, making my voice heard by writing this article.

    Picture Credit- Digital Agenda for Europe