Getting Connected: Present Day Revolutions and Technology

The use of technology has changed our world culture in so many ways that one could not count that high. The most amazing thing about this technology is that is can be utilized through so many mediums. Taking a look at the Green Revolution in Iran we can effectively see how the use of services such as Twitter and Facebook can not only be used to communicate with friends and write non-sense, but to organize political rallies and mass demonstrations. This may come as a great shock to those in the Western world who use these services on a daily basis to check to see what Chad Ochocinco talked about the night before (which really isn’t that interesting). These services can be used as a very instrumental political tool especially when someone wants to reach a massive audience instantly.

The use of this technology has granted people in “closed societies” the ability to see and hear what the rest of the world is doing. In the societies that we are currently seeing popular uprisings the international community has acknowledged the fact that these are oppressive societies. Many of these societies have internet access is reachable for many of it’s citizens. Places like North Korea and China keep a very tight grip on what content is allowed and what is most definitely not. Places like Libya went into a “cyber blackout” after the fact, to restrict with use of communication for the common citizen. This does prove to hinder people from communicating, but the spark has already ignited the flame. No matter how long the internet traffic is down, people around the country know that their feelings and sentiments are not of those held by the few, but the many.

In many of these places is can be said that social media did not cause revolutions and popular uprisings. We can attribute this to a multitude of things that range from high unemployment (especially among educated youth), non-democratic societies, oppressive regime structure (which is prone to rejecting any and all forms of change), and a bureaucracy driven on clientelism. Twitter did not cause these people to join forces and band together. It did help people express themselves in a time of great unrest. People from other countries were able to exchange ideas and information, which is always the backbone for such change to occur. The exchange of ideas and information has driven societies to transform and grow.

Right now we can see that happening in places that have seen oppressive rulers who have been in power for decades see their rule come to an end. No amount of money can save a person who is seen as illegitimate in the eyes of their people. The international community does help sway the tide on many levels, however the grunt of the work comes the people who call these places home. If it weren’t for technology I wouldn’t be able to write about what is happening in these places thousands of miles from me and you wouldn’t be able to read my 2 cents on the issue.

This is obviously not a perfect depiction of what is going on everywhere, but it may lay the stepping stones for this to happen in a larger country, maybe even in a more developed nation. No one knows the extent of technology’s reach, especially when it comes to pissed off people talking about what is pissing them off. Thankfully I’m not that upset about really anything, but I do like analyzing why other people seemed to be pissed and what they do about it. Finding out how such social mediums play a role in future political happenings will be a very interesting for all of us to experience.


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