Monday, July 20, 2009

Essay: The Importance Of #indonesiaunite

Well of course, the #indonesiaunite movement that started through Twitter was initially part of a reaction towards the bombings of JW Marriot and Ritz-Carlton last Friday. But in mere hours, #indonesiaunite has morphed into a wave of nationalism that has not been seen since the 1998 demonstrations that brought down Soeharto.

Because of the high profile #indonesiaunite has received through Twitter's Trending Topics (and reached no.1 several times), many Indonesian twitterers have been stating the virtues of Indonesia in 140 characters or less. Whether it be the exotic islands and culture, the culinary adventures, or even imperfect sides like Jakarta's seemingly constant traffic jams, Indonesians have been pushing out positive messages and promoting their own country.

It would seem that, as I had said in a previous tweet, that all the closet nationalists have come out and made themselves heard. Of course, in such a diverse country like this, some naysayers or skeptics are questioning on whether that #indonesiaunite is just a fad, or is it something that would actually matter.

Well here's my thought. Most of us bloggers and twitterers aren't in the armed forces, so we don't know anything about physically defending the country. Many of us aren't politicians, legislators or bureaucrats either, so there is not yet anything concrete we can do to make Indonesia better. Most of us are still in school or are simple employees, so we do not have the capital to fund something significant.

Yet we all do recognize something - the power of viral communication. I might only be able to persuade, say 5 people around be aware of the spirit of #indonesiaunite, but if all the Indonesian users of Twitter could do the same thing, we'd have a small yet growing thing going.

The message of #indonesiaunite is simple yet it might be different for every person - that is why it is a potent force to begin with. It is time that we all rediscover our love of country, and make sure we rekindle it in others too!

You could say that #indonesiaunite is a political movement, because, up to today, it has not morphed into, say, a non-governmental organization. I would say no to such thing, because to institutionalize an idea like this would be to kill the idea itself. Organizations need leaders, but yet #indonesiaunite has no leader other than the concept itself.

#indonesiaunite has, in the span of 3-4 days, become a uniquely 21st century movement - a wholly crowdsourced movement where each and every participant contributes equally to the strength of the movement.

Whether or not the #indonesiaunite spirit can be transferred offline, as has been the discussion for the past 2 days, and properly infused into the general public psyche, remains to be seen. Such a direction may need more traditional approaches. Nevertheless, one may hope that when historians look back on the moment where Indonesia picked itself up and flew into the future, it would not be because of one person or a group of people, it would be because of #indonesiaunite.

Only together we can change this country for the better. Indonesia unite!

11 comments:

  1. Hi,

    for me (married to an indonesian) it´s great to see people in Indonesia, normally (in my view) often not interested in politics, are forming a movement to bring development to their country and to speak against people, who are still backwards. (like those perpetrators of the attacks on Marriott and Ritz Carlton).

    I hope this movement will last longer and also be visible in daily life and not just in the internet.

    Everyone can do a little, just by speaking out their mind. Don´t tolerate crimes, just because the ones who do them, are telling, they´re doing it in the name of islam.

    Me and my wife are muslim and we don´t share the simple minded view of extreme islamist groups. In the past indonesia often didn´t react, when people suffered (e.G. from attacks of FPI or parts of FPI-Members).

    This people hurt the islam, especially in a view from outside indonesia, the also hurt the whole indonesian nation with their partly violent acts against those, which they declared as their enemies (or enemies of islam). So I hope, the people of indonesia won´t tolerate any violence, but also speak out openly against it, to isolate the real enemies of islam and indonesia.

    I don´t want to offend anyone by saying this. I don´t want to judge indonesia as a foreigner.. I know indonesia did much steps in the right direction - but being honest, I´ve to say, there is still much to do.. and this movement is another step in the right direction.

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  2. I don't question much on the intentions behind it, I am fully aware that this is what we can start to do at the moment, quickly and easily. Everything that you say is true.

    What I am arguing is how this gives the impression that we were not united. Or put it another way, we've seen another similar movements that are already running and give more concrete results. Or maybe, do we need something like this to be awaken? It is just barely new and innovative, no need to overhype it that we forget the actions.

    I am just afraid we are too overwhelmed by so-called social media.

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  3. nice post! hope my friends read this for better view

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  4. Wandi Mulia WangsaJuly 20, 2009 at 5:32 PM

    Nice post,
    there's always two sides of coin in everything. whether they agree of this movement or not...we still manage to unite and risen the spirit of patriotism of young people ,which in my opinion its started to fade slowly.
    So let the world hear our voice #indonesiaunite

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  5. Anybody making/selling the official #indonesiaunite t-shirt designs?

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  6. I acknowledge this online movement as a good intention to wake up fellow Indonesians, especially youngsters, that we have to unite against such action of terrorism.

    I just happen to be worried, that this won't stay long. Call me pessimistic, but I only learned from past experiences.

    Indonesians mostly are reactive nation, not proactive one. Tsunami, Ambalat, culture steal by Malaysia, Situ Gintung, bombings. It seemingly always needs negative things like these to unite us. If we're disturbed, then we react. After few weeks or months, it's usually forgotten as media slowly put down the news, then we move on with our daily stuffs. Only to react again when (God forbid) yet another tragedy happens.

    It's easy to start a new movement. What really matters is how to maintain it forever.

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  7. Whether it's just a fad or not, I fully support it. It's true that some of us are just a college students or an employee. Bear in mind that college students and employee don't do much that involves nationalism. So when this movement arise and hit their nationalism senses, they wanna tell the whole world about it. So I don't see why people are against it. Maybe people who promote #indonesiaunite don't really do something for the country. But who knows, when they are promoting they touched the heart of the people who will contribute a lot to this country! Never under estimate the butterfly effect..

    @adhika

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  8. IndonesiaUnite 's Official Twitter.
    Follow : http://twitter.com/indonesiaunite
    indonesiaunite = Indonesia Bersatu. KAMI TIDAK TAKUT. We Are Not Affraid. Indonesia Unite

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  9. [...] to 2009 event. I originally had no problem with the movement. I love the intention. @barijoe has a good statement on the intention and why we should support it: Well here’s my thought. Most of us bloggers and [...]

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  10. @adhika

    "Butterfly" or "domino effect" only will be causing an effect IF it's done continuously.

    And continuity (or maintenance, for much general), I think, is not one of our nation's strength.

    I'd be glad if I'm proven wrong, though :)

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