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Social Media: not revolutionizing the Revolution… call it Evolution

By 01/02/2011One Comment

The tweeps from made a great infographic on the use of Twitter during the Egyptian, Tunisian and Yemeni crises…

Hundreds of  posts have been written on how Social Media trigger these uproars and civic protests. I beg to defer. Twitter and Facebook do not revolutionize revolution. At all. They revolutionize our ability to witness civic protest and social change in real-time. They give protesters an n-tieth way of communication. They allow a CNN-like “always on” voyeurism on how other people battle for freedom of speech and different lives… But Twitter and tutti quanti are no Kalashnikov, no “I had a dream” verbal igniters, no revolution starters.

People start revolutions when provoked enough, Social media help broadcast the revolution outward, and campaign inward.  It’s a bit upsetting to see how fast many Social Media users have been claiming that their beloved Digital Channels allow for a better social world, and warp whole countries into a democratic and open era. Do not steal the thunder of the people now demonstrating for their future, do not rain on their parade: they are playing with their lives, affronting real tanks, real guns, real risk. It’s called a revolution. It’s a very dangerous business.

The fact that we can follow it through our Twitter feeds, is merely an evolution of information technology. Egypt proves that the powers that be can shut the system down in the blink of an eye. The Egyptian government pulled the plug on ISP providers, and within minutes the whole country faded back into a black pre-social media era… we’re upset because we lose our firsthand eyewitness seats to the show. But with Twitter and Facebook down, people are still in the streets. Risking their lives….

And you?

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