Last night at the “little” Dutch Vlogger Meetup, I rehashed a topic that I began talking about during the bloggers in Amsterdam roundtable a few weeks ago. The topic involves a personal belief of mine that producing personal media: blogs, podcasts, vlogs, photoblogs; and sharing them with people around the world, increases incultural exchange and therefore decreases the likelihood of using violence to resolve international disputes.
Did I lose you? It’s pretty basic, and some people might label it as naïve or wrong, but I simply believe that by reading blogs, for example, from people in Iran, we are getting to know Iranians on a very personal level. By knowing them and reading their thoughts and work, this helps defeat any propaganda that might be pushed by a government or a media that wants to sell you the idea that, say – Iranians are dangerous and tyrants and the answer is to bomb the shit out of the country. Readers, listeners, and viewers of Iranian pesonal media would immediately dispell such fairy tales, and insist that whatever methods are used to resolve a disagreement, violence is not an option – EVER.
When I brought this up, asking if the bloggers believed in this possibility, I think it was Ezra or Amanda, who saw it as unlikely, stating that for every Iranian blogger that might blog about peacefully resolving a conflict, the a warmongering Iranian blogger in the US or wherever, would emerge to support the opposite.
Amongst others last night, Gabe was an especially outspoken supporter of this idea, that if more people watched vlogs and were consumers of personal media across borders, the less propaganda that promotes violence, mistrust, and hatred would ne believed.
I think the biggest disappointment factor in all this is that we are still a long way from this being a reality. You reading this post are still a small fragment of the world’s population, as is the case for all personal media – most people still don’t understand or use it. Despite the fact that we may have the key to more peace in the world, we’re not even close to being able to save any lives.
For more on Iran in particular, I like to read Juan Cole. And of course, the granddaddy of the Iranian blogosphere – Hoder.