Indonesian Onliners Meetup Event Called ON|OFF
Posted by tomsez
I put this up while imagining my own regret: why didn’t I come to this event right from its beginning ? It used to be called “Pesta Blogger” and carried out every year since 2007. It was due to my domestic and official reasons that I missed all of the hilarities in the past, and now here in 2011 I manage to come and it’s in the same place as the last time; Epicentrum Walk in Jakarta. However, I realize I must have lost traces for the significance of something that has been in my mind for quite long. The Internet, dynamics of social media use, real effects to social life, growing acceleration of everything concerned … Have they been important variables to people yet ?
Some might find it strange that I still ask the question. But think if you are not Jakartans, think if you live in a place far off big cities or the nearest BTS. Also think of the fact that there are decision and policy makers who are not regular Internet users, even don’t have email or facebook account. I am pointing out exactly to that very segment of people with no allusion to this technology in their day-to-day repertoire. Most of the time, anything with social implications from them could be just indifferent, but as we know, it’s a matter of time before that permutation of social probability would place one side with other sides, along with possibilities of different ways of looking at things, of taking certain priorities, of regarding something as important, et cetera. I know this could sound as much as a simplification, but my point is this self-questioning: “Have we been estranging ourselves from them that we just turned into a new technology-minded social class ?”
I don’t think of this as an opposition as a classic Marxian would view it. Rather, it’s the need for common orientation of what netters should behave in the medium, especially when it is thought to be in terms of social transformation. In On|Off 2011, such is nicely put forward by Dr. Anies Baswedan in the opening speech of this event. While referring to the gloomy view of the country depicted by media, he said, “Bloggers have opportunities to challenge the wave of pesimism with the new wave of optimism … this is our media, this is in our control, let’s spread the word of optimism”. Assumed there that what happens in Internet would somehow have consequences to the real world, as later on he pointed out (my translation), “Indeed, we still have to develop education, but we have this new world called online, virtual world .. We should not repeat the mistake of the past as we enter the new era without new spirit and ideology … and that is to construct Indonesia with positiveness in perspective.” That reminded me of the contention introduced in Negroponte’s Being Digital, as to whether the world is supposed to be in Internet as such, or it should be rooted to social world.
If it is to avoid polarity of class, as I have mentioned, and promoting Internet positive use, while at the same time causing persuading effects to those non-internet users that this breakthough of communication really matters, it is clear that the latter has to be the way to go. Regardless of the fact, the there are significant numbers of frenzies in Internet that remain in the virtual domain. This was also undelined by that slightly familiar tv figure, named Panji, when he was out with the so-called standup comedy, but in turn I felt like he was in connection with the same thread with Anies’ as he put out what he called ‘integrity’. We don’t have integrity if what we write in Internet is not what we would actually do in the real world.
The way I think about this event is that it is important to gather people to uphold the commitment, be it optimism / positiveness or integrity. It’s the meetup of onliners within communities and showcases that Internet has made differences. Sure, being in virtual world is still cool, but bringing about real implications to the real world is better. I think I should have seen more of those as someone told me that participants and visitors were much fewer compared with ones in last years. There were some similar events involving just about the same people in previous months this year (I am surprised to find that I don’t know what they are).
I had certain expectations, but upon hearing the degression, I knew I should not wish to be surprised with what I would find. Among the line of stands in the exhibition are exposition of Internet communities, efforts to gain participants using Internet as an enrollment point, retail business through Internet, Internet-based non-governmental services, .. Definitely, my expectations were way too high on this (hoping to find something out of my imagination 🙂 However, what I found quite interesting were what they called ‘breakout class’. Too bad, the arrangment had made me impossible to attend them all, as they were provided at the same time in parallel classes (not to mention that I had to go back home at 16.00).
In short, if you are Indonesian Internet users and plunging into the crowd within is not just for some personal fun or venting-out intention, it is imperative for you to come 🙂 I would love to come again next year.