KONY 2012 - The Hype, The Technology and The Success
I'm hoping that you, the reader, are one of 43,354,020 people who has seen this video and therefore know what I am referring to. If not, here's a quick summary.
Joseph Kony, A Ugandan warlord, has raised an army for decades in Uganda and other parts of central Africa. As the leader, he gathers rebels and kidnaps children in nearby villages as a way of populating his force. He and his various helpers kidnap, rape and murder people for the sake of gaining power, power for no discernible reason and with no clear result except to gain more power. An independent activist group created "Invisible Children" to push back the murderous forces of Joseph Kony and Kony himself.
Recently, Invisible Children initiated a sort of ultimatum. On March 5, 2012, Invisible Children released a video outlining their plan for 2012. The video, now viewed by over 43 million people, holds a message of power and teamwork, and it encourages, supports and inspires people to spread the word about Kony and his regime. The idea is that if enough people are protesting the world's government's lack of action, we will force those world powers to solve the problem: catch Kony and stop his forces. Within three days of video's release, the Internet bled with Kony's name and links to the video.
Now that you're caught up, I move on to my point.
Inspiration is as contagious as any virus, and ideas are infectious. I don't mean to sound like I'm quoting "Inception," but I find it so fascinating that within weeks of an idea's conception, people splatter it all over the Internet with millions of hungry eyes feasting. But what's great about this instance is that it is something good. People complain about the Internet. Teacher's complain about Wikipedia, politicians complain about hype and teenagers complain that it's not fast enough. But when the force of forty million teenagers thumping away at a keyboard leads to the possibility of the capture of a Ugandan warlord, I think that says something about technology. Even if Kony isn't captured, which could happen, at least now the world knows that an expansive platform for spreading ideas truly does exist. Now, we can use the internet to improve the human condition even more than thought before.
One other thing I find so energizing about this whole hype is that this uprising is mostly communicated and inspired by people under the age of thirty. I have heard my fair share of adults complaining about teenagers and how young people are lazy, unintelligent and lackadaisical people, but when the youth of our world form together to take down one of the worst criminals, those old people who dislike the way we work will understand that we are simply taking a new approach to old problems. We're adapting to our environment. It's like our train is finally moving, and after sitting silent and still on the tracks for so long, we've begun hurdling toward success in our own way. I could get into a whole different topic now, but I'll refrain.
To sum up. I am so proud of my generation, and what we've discovered we can do. And I'm proud of the Internet. It finally has a redeeming quality that we can use as a support for our next opinion paper in support of the Internet. I'm not taking credit for my generation, or for the Internet, but the last few days has truly changed my opinion of both.
Down with Kony.