The Power of Internet

I think we all agree that the internet has brought the world closer. People who would have never met otherwise are sharing a part of themselves through the internet on all sorts of social platforms, WordPress is one such example.

However, this post will not be on the technical details or the minute histories on how the internet came to be. It’s on the recent tragedy that occurred early Sunday morning in Orlando, which I’m sure you all are very familiar with by now.

In the wake of the Orlando shooting, everyone seems to be speaking out. Some focus on homophobia, which has been part of the American society, some focus on islamophobia, which has intensified in recent years, while others focus on pro-gun issues, which has been a hot political topic. The event tore into some fundamental social problems America is currently facing. Instead of reflecting on our problems and work on them, there are people who are pointing fingers, refusing to acknowledge the intolerance in our society, blaming all faults on others.

In midst of this chaotic tragedy, I’ve found comfort in the internet. I’ve found comfort in knowing there are people out there who are focused on the root of the problem. There are people who are petitioning for change. People who care. I’m comforted by the love I’ve seen pouring out, allowing me to have faith in goodness.

It’s beautiful that strangers around the world have come together in solidarity.

Although there are people who hide behind the screen and spewing hate, there are more people shutting these individuals down, promoting awareness and showing love. The internet really easily allows people to come together and unite.

I’ve heard it before that after 9/11 the country came together as one. I think a similar occurrence is happening right now, and this time I want to be part of it.

Among it all, I’m reminded how lucky I am to have met all these welcoming people who embraces everyone’s differences.

Here’s an anecdote I came across today on Facebook that brought me to tears and made me appreciate the people and the city that I call home.

Just now, on my way to work, a man got on my train yelling as he came onto an incredibly packed train for the “two terrorist foreigners to go back to where they came from.” These two “terrorist foreigners” were two (understandably terrified) hijabi Muslim women. Before I could say anything, the entire train erupted in anger. A black man, a Romanian, a gay man, a bunch of Asians, and a score of others came to their defense demanding that this man leave these women alone and get off this train. The man insisted that the two women go back home and take their bombs with them.

After some back and forth, one man said, “This is New York City. The most diverse place in the world. And in New York, we protect our own and we don’t give a fuck what anyone looks like or who they love, or any of those things. It’s time for you to leave these women alone, Sir.”

I couldn’t have said it better. Sure enough, our train was stopped. This royal douche got off the train to the sound of cheering.

I say all this to say that in light of all the bad happening around us, remember that there’s so much good and so much love.

I’m late to work, but it was for the best reason.

-From Amaira Hasan


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