Soliya Experience Reflection
At first when our professor told us about Soliya, honestly, I was so not into it. I thought why I should waste two hours every week in such a thing. Also, I thought it would be so boring for me and that I wouldn’t even like to open my camera so maybe I can do something of better use at this time.
On the other pole, everything has changed. When Soliya program came to an end, I was so upset and I just wish it could be extended for more weeks. Fortunately, I was put in an awesome group of diverse and nice people from all around the world, Nigeria, Italy, Finland, Tunisia and Libya. We easily managed to come along together to share different information about our experiences, backgrounds and culture. I decided that it’s a very good opportunity for me to gain new information and make new friends so I have to make the best out of it. The discussions were so interesting and engaging. We discussed many various topics of which are; food in each country, weather, politics, social problems, poverty, culture, racism, discrimination, sexual harassment, violence against women, vaccinations and even more things. These discussions involved many different feelings other than being interesting. We tried with all our efforts not to be biased at any time of our discussions, we empathized with each other when some of us suffered from any of the previous topics. We also discussed how we can implement equity in the society and improve all the other negative issues we face in our regions. I liked how the group had this coherence and diversity as we shared our thoughts and ideas with respect and open mind. There was hot discussions, yet with respect and no negative arguments. I made really nice friends through Soliya, as we even added each other on other social platform and we created a Facebook group so we can stay in touch and maybe meet one day. I really liked the Soliya experience and I think it was one of the best things I’ve done in university, it was really good.
- How was communication on Soliya similar to or different from other online communication you are familiar with?
Soliya’s online communication was so different for me as I am not really used to video chatting with others on any social platform. I may connect with different people through different social platforms, yet our connection tends to come down to texts and sharing some visuals and that’s it, not as Soliya which bring people together in a very interactive way through its video chatting rooms. Even if I experienced this once before or any time again in the future I don’t think I would get the chance to be put again in a diverse group like that one I was involved in Soliya. I was also lucky enough to be within a group of really fun people who I really liked and we even became friends. What made it more different is the choice of respectable people who have open mind and acceptance for different perspectives or points of view with huge respect and friendliness. The only thing I would suggest for improvement is having better ways to help with technical problems that sometimes happen and interrupt the ongoing conversations.
- What have you learned about yourself as a communicator in the digital world?
At first I thought that I am somehow an introvert who would be a silent participant or someone who does not share much and maybe I can do something else at that time. However, things turned out to be so different as I found myself so extroverted, participating heavily in every discussion and always will to share my thoughts and ask questions. I wanted to make the best out of this opportunity and to learn new things about different people from all over the world.
- What can you do to foster communication in f2f and online modes
I think awareness campaigns encouraging people to participate in different ways of communication whether face to face or online is so important. As people tend to shy away from getting connect to strangers or people who may seem different, however as I found , communication between two different sides is so beneficial , enjoyable , it makes you learn things that may never cross your way and even make new friends. I believe that it would be a good idea if people continue to keep in touch after such programs and it would be awesome if they manage to meet face to face sometime.