This past week has shown the world the power of Gen Y and technology. A rather ruggedly handsome young man is the face of ‘Invisible Children’ KONY2012. The new social cause sweeping the globe. We will all wake up on a fine day in April to find our major cities, substantial towns (and if they have done their social networking job right) remote villages sporting reams of urban wall paper bearing the stark image of Joseph Kony. The point? It is to make this person infamous. To bring to the attention of the world the atrocities he has committed.
Will it work? I’m not sure. Four days ago I saw the tag KONY2012 three times in four hours, over three web related platforms. Facebook, Twitter and a blog. In the fifth hour I still had no idea who or what it meant. All of a sudden – in the sixth hour it was scrolling in the newsfeed of my facebook account on every second post by ‘friends’ under the age of 21. Eventually out of sheer curiosity I googled the tag and came across the KONY2012 website (www.kony2012.com/ ). The site is facile and slick. Previous jejune attempts to incite a social media frenzy can learn from this campaign. Give the masses easy to understand words, with professional hard hitting images. Lead them without confusion to exactly what they need to do to be a part of the team. Click here. Pledge here. Donate here. Lobby these people requesting the power of their fan base. Question these Government and Corporate power brokers as to WHAT they are going to do. It is simple. It is brilliant. Within a week this website had hit the number one search spot on Google. Within 4 minutes I was transfixed to the video – by the end I was angry. Angry that it has taken a group 9 years to get to this point. Angry that the world community has allowed this to not only happen – but to prosper. To grow from Uganda into three other countries (South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and Central African Republic). Having spent 2 years living next door to these three countries I can attest to the low value that is placed on the lives of children. They are slave labour. They are an easy target. They are beaten, used, abused, starved, sold and crushed. They are indeed lost.
How has the world lost it’s moral compass to the point that countless thousands of children have been abducted, drugged, brainwashed and assaulted KNOWINGLY and we’ve done nothing about it til now? While this has been happening how many people have we sent to Afghanistan? Iraq? Iran? How many millions of dollars have we spent on a faceless enemy, on a war with an ambiguous end state? What is the definition of victory going to be in the War against Terror? Can we state a definition of victory in the war against the LRA and the abduction of children? The sexual enslavement and rape of young girls? Yes. Yes we can.
It is a birthright of all children that they should have the opportunity to live out their potential. That they should have the best chance of living up to the hope and promise that every innocent baby is born with.
KONY2012. Will it work? I don’t know. Will it become anything more than a flash in the pan social networking trend? I hope so. I hope this sparks a flame in some of the younger generation. Shows them that the technology they use to partake in games of war and bloodshed in the gaming realm, can also be used as a tool of strength against tyranny … in the real world.
Good luck Gen Y. Take your message and Tweet it from the rooftops. Be the change you wish to see in the world. Those lost and stolen children in Africa … they are Gen Z. You owe the next generation your protection. From a Gen X member – I’ve got your back.