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The growing importance of the Internet and Social Networking


Permalink 11:50:20 pm, by Skillachi
Categories: Technology, Commentary

The growing importance of the Internet and Social Networking

Chances are if you are reading this article right now on a computer, or any other mobile device (and not on some archaic printed paper that somebody gave to you), you are signed up to a social networking site. You can try to avoid it all you want, but the fact of the matter is that, these social networking sites are now as much a part of using the Internet as chat rooms once were. Websites such as Facebook and Twitter have more or less taken over the internet in such a way that it is hard for anybody to ignore them even governments. This was proven most recently in the case of Vybz Kartel being banned from performing in St. Lucia.

With regards to Vybz Kartel, this all started a few weeks ago when the artiste who was slated to perform at a concert in St. Lucia, found out that the St. Lucian government had refused to give him a work permit. The promotors of the show did all that they could to get Kartel to headline their show but sadly the St. Lucian government stood firm on their decision stating that based on their research and the negative opinions of many people, they will not grant him the work permit.

Vybz Kartel on Stage**Taken from Jamaica Observer

Then a group of people on Facebook created a group simply named "We Want Kartel" on Monday . The aim of this group was to appeal the decision of the government by garnering a large enough number of people who would be willing to petition for the artist to perform. In no time at all the group had gathered over 700 people (Currently the member count stands at 1237 members) who were all firm believers that Kartel should be allowed to perform. The group had such an impact that recently they were featured on our local news with the creators of the group getting interviewed. Members of the group made comments such as:

- Really, what can Vybz Kartel contribute to crime thats not already there; duhhhhhhh hypocrite and bad-minded people they always think they better than everybody else why don't they just 'look pon the life they living' (eyes rolling)

- I can't believe the hypocracy of the so called 'committee' who banned the guy from coming. last year they brought amy winehouse here knowing full well that she was a crackhead and what did she do? she embarrasssed them. but i guess it's ok because she's an international artiste and it's just fine to allow her to perform but since kartel is regional we can afford to kick him in his ass right? some support for our fellow caribbean huh? ... if you don't like his music don't come to his show and don't allow ur kids to come either but i don't think it's fair that the rest of us should have to pay for your insecurities....

- It's very convenient for them to sit back and put blame on Kartel instead of their disregard for the youth of this country. Our problems have nothing to do with an artist and his own creativity in music. It has everything to do with our leaders, both in politics and people who the young people are supposed to look up t...o. I am yet to understand how they could ban an artist because of the young people, when the show was marketed to a mature audience. If a child finds himself or herself there, it's the parents' fault. Not Kartel.

And many of these comments garnered support from the members of the group who continued to call for the lifting of the ban.

However the reason for this article is not what the group was for or what the people are saying but the reaction to the group. Jamaican news stations have seen it fit to cover the activities of the group; the St. Lucian government has had to come out and say that it will not allow some facebook group to dictate how it will run the country; and the Jamaican government has decided to come out in support of Vybz Kartel, taking it upon their heads to check whether or not the move by the St. Lucian government was contrary to the CARICOM agreement. All because of a group on a social networking site.

I also remember seeing similar things happen in the last election campaign, where members of the Jamaica Labour Party successfully used Facebook to launch a campaign among Jamaica's youth without ever having to walk or drive to garner their support. The JLP as a matter of fact still uses the groups they have made to try to get the news across to us youth in a more timely and efficient manner. We can also look abroad to the example of Barack Obama who during his Presidential campaign used Twitter and Facebook to garner public support.

Now the next question you may ask is what is the point of all this that I am posting? Essentially I am posting this to say that, the internet has become deeply entrenched in the lives of the people, it has grown to become the most efficient means of getting news and information across and people are using it to get their views known to the wider public, and it serves as a way to drive people to become more active in the running of a country. This facebook group is an example of what people can do when they come together and decide that they will not take it anymore. Maybe it is time we forced the government to act according to our concerns by creating a facebook group on the topic, or maybe we need to have the government explain things to use using these social networking tools. Whichever way we decide to use it, it is important that we follow the example of the St. Lucians, and use it to get their(our government's) attention.

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Reasons why I love my Jamaican Mom

1. My Mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.
"Just wait till we get home."

2. My Mother taught me about RECEIVING.
"You going get a ass'n when we get home!"

3. My Mother taught me to MEET A CHALLENGE.
"What di backside yu thinkin'? Answer me when me talk to you...Don't talk back to me!"

4. My Mother taught me CONSEQUENCES.
"If yu run cross de road an' cyar lick yu dung, a goin' kill yu wid lick."

5. My Mother taught me THE VALUE OF EDUCATION.
"If yu no go a school, yu a go tun tief or walk an' pick up bottle."

6. My Mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE.
"If yu tun over yu eye lid an fly pitch pan it, it a go stay so fi evva."

7. My Mother taught me to THINK AHEAD.
"Is not one time monkey goin' wan' wife"

8. My Mother taught me ESP.
"Yu tink a don't know what yu up to nuh?"

9. My Mother taught me HUMOR.
"If yu don' eat food, breeze goin' blow yu 'way."

10. My Mother taught me how to BECOME AN ADULT.
"Come an' tek yu beatin' like man."

11. My Mother taught me about SEX.
"Yu tink say yu drop from sky?"

12. My Mother taught me about GENETICS.
"Yu jus' like yu faada."

13. My Mother taught me about my ROOTS.
"Yu tink mi come from "Back A Wall?"

14. My Mother taught me about WISDOM OF AGE.
"When yu get to be as ol' as me, yu wi understan'."

15. And my all time favorite... JUSTICE.
"One day wen yu have pickney, a hope dem treat yu same way."


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Wayne Marshall
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