This question comes from ‘The Empathetic Web’, an essay written by Smile by Webshot’s Narendra Rocherolle four years ago. He describes how the internet, specifically social media, can be used to foster empathy on a global scale, changing the lives of others in the process. As an example, he shares a story about a friend who became an overnight humanitarian when the earthquake hit Haiti. Rocherolle believes that “as awareness and communication become more personal, we are driven closer to that ‘activation’ moment.”
Empathy at a global level is a noble goal. But what would jolt him into empathizing at a personal level? As he states in the conclusion, “So, what will it take for our shared human experience to rise to the fore? Have you had a profound (or mundane) experience that caused you to look differently at another person or about yourself? Can high-tech be high-heart?”
He asked the questions, but apparently never thought seriously about the answers. If he had seen Webshots as an investment in a growing global community populated with real people, his answer to the last one might have been a resounding yes. What he saw instead was a fast way to make a quick buck. And what we are hearing from him now is a resounding no.