Open Your Eyes For Those Who Cannot

Have you been complaining lately about all the work you need to do for university? All the essays you need to write, articles to read and talks to give? Well, I have. Until I realized that sometimes I am too trapped in my everyday life to see how lucky I really am. Lucky, because I have the possibility to study in a foreign country. Lucky, because I know I’ll manage the workload easily. Lucky, because I can see.

After today’s lecture in “Writing for New Media” I decided to stop complaining about things like these. In this world, there are around 37 million totally blind people. Many of them go to university, write essays like I do, read articles and give talks. Little things I do in my daily life without even thinking about how they can present great challenges for others – and I am the one worrying?

“How new technology helps blind people explore the world”

In her amazing TED talk, Chieko Asakawa, who has been blind since the age of 14, opens her world to those who can see. She is a strong and inspiring woman who does not let fate take its course: By inventing new technology, she wants to make the visually impaired more independent. It is just incredible to see everything that is possible in this area today!

Accessibility is not only a theoretical concept. It is a vital ingredient for every dinner in the dark. It has never been so easy for blind people to get around, in the physical and the digital world. Still, things need to improve. I think that by being aware of their needs and making the little effort to consider accessibility while creating online content everyone of us can contribute to a bigger picture.

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Smartphones, laptops and co. facilitate life for the visually impaired enormously

Image Sources: pixabay.com, wordpress template pictures

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Suiting Up For The Internet? Meet Netiquette, The Online Etiquete

In today’s world there are rules for everything. Rules that tell us how to eat properly, how to dress properly, how to behave properly… online, offline, anywhere, anytime. It was in my “Writing for New Media” lecture that I became aware of the dimension of this issue – and that I should definitely improve my knowledge of the newest “netiquettal” trends out there.

Because cyber communities consist of real human beings

As Jenny Preece writes in her article about online etiquette, “one person’s clever joke is another person’s offensive insult”. The anonymity of the exponentially expanding internet allows for more uninhibited behaviour than in actual face-to-face situations. Thus, online etiquette is necessary, even though people are not looking each other in the eyes while communicating.

Generally, it doesn’t make a difference for me if I communicate with people that are commanding respect online or offline. While common sense and experience have taught me the basic internet etiquette, I realised that some behavioural patterns reveal themselves to me intuitively. A friend of mine wrote an interesting anecdote about contact she had with a lecturer via email and her discovery about the online etiquette that underlines its complexity.

Nevertheless, it is true that I sometimes talk to people online in a way that I would never address them if we were having an actual face-to-face conversation. In that sense, I want to be more careful in the future. Netiquette means respect. And respect should always be the basis of all communication, no matter how important the other person is or if he is physically present or not.

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