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!