Although it’s quickly getting pushed out of the news cycle by the Super Bowl and its commercial trappings, plus a big digital media acquisition immediately in the wake of the weekend, the story in Egypt has captured my attention for the last two weeks or so.
It’s not really the politics. At this point, I’m far enough past my teenage years to understand with some comprehensiveness the scope of “revolutions” like this one, where one dictator is replaced with another (worst case scenario playing out, at least temporarily, at the moment) or with democracy (best case scenario) and all its factions, party politics, and pendulumatic swing of power from one sect of the upper class to another, indefinitely, until another coup brings another dictator to power.
In other words, I’ve seen this movie before.
But naturally, I’m drawn to the digital nature of this movement, to the Facebook pages serving as vital organizing tools, to the missing Google executive, to the protestors executing the time-honored urban hack of charging their mobile devices using the wiring in a streetlight’s base, to Andy Carvin’s retweet curation of reliable sources on the ground in and around Tahrir Square.
All of this appeals to me. No matter how it turns out, this period has been a coming of age for a Web-native generation in Egypt.
It’s a generation a bit like my own.