Sunday, 18 March 2012

Social Media, Potential for Social Change?

I do think that social media has the potential to bring about real social change. The main reason I believe that is humans are naturally social creatures. This means they will always try to form bonds with people that they don’t even know. The key to social change is cooperation between large amounts of people. Social media is the perfect outlet for this type of communication. 

Based on my conclusion I disagree with the view of Malcom Gladwell who is a well-known author in the area of social media. Malcom believes that social media is built around weak social ties and that these ties are not strong enough to bring change.

To further prove my point there have already been many examples of human beings tapping into their natural sense of community to bring about world change. For example in Lebanon, social media was one of the driving forces in bringing down the government there. The citizens of Lebanon posted videos and articles of the government’s unethical and wrong actions. The government has no control over social media. As a result they could not censor the citizens of Lebanon. The videos and articles helped the people of Lebanon truly realize how bad things had gotten. This led to a protest which led to the overthrowing of the government.

As mentioned above social media is free from government censorship. This means that if someone posts something incriminating about the government on a social media site the government cannot censor that information. Other forms of media do not have this same advantage. For example the CBC is a crown corporation and is government funded which means the government can decide what the CBC presents.

In conclusion social media has the potential to bring about real social change because of the nature of people and because social media is free from government censorship.