Twalk With Me - Walking and Talking 6000 miles with just an iPhone and a guitar

Why do it?

I can’t say how it is elsewhere but in the Netherlands the internet gets some really bad press. Illegal downloading, anonymous threats, gaming addiction, loverboys on social media, child pornography… If I weren’t on the internet I would probably think of it as a digital Sodom and Gomorra. This must be the most dangerous invention since the invention of the printing press! Politicians are desperately seeking for ways to control it.

Last year Dutch Queen Beatrix addressed the country in a Christmas speech about the erosion of community and social responsibility. She also claimed that ‘virtual encounters’ on the internet increase the distance between people instead of bringing them closer together. For the next couple of days her speech was the trending topic on Twitter in the Netherlands. All over the internet blogs were written and comments were posted, calling it an outrage that our Head of State should acuse milions of Dutch social media users of antisocial behaviour.

Some of the discontent was reported by national television stations and newspapers, but most of it stayed on the internet. So once again, the people who would share the queen’s point of view because of the onesided information they receive through the (traditional) media, did not get a chance to actually learn what social media is all about. A lost opportunity.

The Dutch Queen concluded that society has to win some back from the ongoing individualisation. We don’t help each other out anymore. Although I agree with her up to some level, I am more optimistic and I wouldn’t blame individualism. Altruïsm has not vanished from the earth and I if you keep your eye out, you can see people doing good at any given day, in real life and on the internet. There is no necessary contradiction in helping yourself and helping others.

My objective is to show the world what social media and their users are capable of. It is just like a real society: some people help out, some don’t. The difference is that with social media as a tool it is much easier to find people, whether they are in need of help or willing and able to provide it. I believe it is necessary for everyone to know this. The internet and social media could use some positive attention in the papers.

Three months have past since I first thought of this and in one month I shall be twalking. I will need all the help I can get from people who sympathise and are willing to inform their network about me. It would mean a lot to me should you decide to follow me on Twitter or join my Facebook page, tell people about my project and website and forward some of my messages. One small click of the mouse from my supporters, one big help to me. Please spread the word!

To read the full translated speech of the Queen click this link.

Twalk With Me - Walking and Talking 6000 miles with just an iPhone and a guitar

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