In the article “Social Media Helps to Fuel Political Reform,” author Seragul Bhuiyan states that social media has define a new generation of communication and allows people to connect with one another. He says that social media “allows people to share content with a select group, it allows people to communicate in real-time and thereby is effective in developing democracy”. He says that social media gives people a voice to express their opinions, sites like Twitter, Facebook and Youtube, “allow power to be shifted to people”. He states that some people use social media to influence other people, and he provides an example of the Egypt’s revolution, “Egyptian protestors used Facebook and Twitter to get people out on the streets within the country and Youtube to let the world know what was happening”. He also says that all these people who joined the Egypt’s revolution were influenced by another revolution spreaded out through social media. He concludes that “the new generation in social media has exploded into an effective tool of communication, as much as socially as politically”.
In the article, “Small Change: Why the Revolution Will not Be Tweeted,” author Malcolm Gladwell talks about social media and the superficial relation with social change. He says that “the new tools of social media have reinvented social activism” (401). Gladwell states that thanks to the social media, it is easier to even for powerless people to share their opinion and collaborate. He says that “Activists were once defined by their causes, they are now defined by their tools” (401). Gladwell argues that social change requires “strong ties”, and provides and example of four African-American college boys, who protested against a lunch place in Greensboro, North Carolina, because of racial discrimination, Gladwell emphasizes their “strong ties” relationship streaming from friends in high school and friends in the dorms, and writes that “the more friends you have who were critical to the regime the more likely you were to join the protest” (401). He also says that “nothing can spread without “weak ties,” social media is the main source of information. Social change requires “strong ties”, which can be summarized as people close to you, and social media is based on “weak ties”, people who you only interact with through internet. He concludes that “social networks are effective at increasing participation” ,
(411), however social change requires “implements actions toward change” (413).
Analysis:
Social networks are a great way to find and talk to people that like the same things as you do. However for a strong bond to be formed, people need to make a connection offline as well and meet face-to-face. I agree with both authors, social media plays an important role at the time of informing, but people can say anything they want online and no one will know if they were lying or not. Social media has played a significant role in the hands of people committed to social change. For example, creating a Facebook page for an event because in a matter of minutes will collect thousands of people through a simple click on the like button. However it does not mean that these people are willing to join and support a physical cause, it is not the same when you try to influence people personally because it is more probable that they will join to the group. There is a big difference between a group coming together for a cause on social media and a group personally and physically coming together for a political or real-world cause. One of the most important factors in a revolution or a protest is to spread the information, here is when social media does its work passing information to create even a bigger impact.