The Role of Social Media’s Influence Essay Sample
The Role of Social Media’s Influence (Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube) in Activism and Revolution on the World Stage
Social media introduce great changes in communication between individuals, groups of people and communities (Kietzmann et al. 250). It refers to web-based and mobile technologies, providing the interaction means in which people create, exchange and share ideas and information as well as discuss and modify content in networks and virtual communities. Social media is defined as “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content” (Kaplan amd Haenlein 61). The tremendous exposure of social media shows that humanity is “in the midst of an altogether new communication landscape” (Kietzmann et al. 241).
Social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have greatly influenced and changed the way people communicate and relate around the world. It has improved information on exchanging and sharing, reducing communication barriers. It is only necessary to click the button to get aware of any event and incident in any part of the world. People have an opportunity to participate in certain events, linking necessary information to a family or friends on the social networks. It is evident that social media have an immense influence on our social, political and cultural lives. In January 2009, only the social networking application Facebook claimed to register over 175 million users. The number may be compared with the population of Germany (80 million) or Brazil (190 million) (Kaplan and Haenlein 59).
Social media have changed activism in a variety of ways. The first one is related to the mobility of information. Social networks have increased the information flow by enhancing the movement speed and reducing the barriers on its way. For example, after disasters, people tend to engage themselves on social networks to offer help and support to the affected. The second way is the possibility of social networks to increase word of mouth communication. A good example may be the Arab world that has experienced several revolutions. Activists in Syria used social media for spreading information and advocacy.
The greatest part of the information shared by individuals and rebel groups is through word of mouth communication. People have still been using the social networks to express the losses caused by the revolution. Social networks have been widely used to relay an urgent sense, causing the immediate individual response. It is of vital importance in the situations which require immediate funding or evacuation efforts. For example, donations of the areas which face tragedies are usually made through the social media. Finally, social networks have caused an immense influence on activism and revolution by increasing the psychological influence caused by the flow of information. The majority of Egyptian activists has utilized networks of social media when they spread revolution goals.
Social media have made it easy and simple for people to share and exchange passions, discuss and participate in a variety of events. Even presidents (e.g. the US President Barack Obama) use the tools of social networking to convey their messages to the public. It is especially frequent during the election campaigns. Such deeds prove that the social networks have an immense power and are able to influence and determine changes through activism and revolution.
Thus, new social media tools have reinvented social activism, upending the traditional relationship between popular and political authority. They have also made it easier for the powerless to coordinate, collaborate and give voice.
Kaplan M. Andreas and M. Haenlein “Users of the World, Unite! The Challenges and Opportunities of Social Media.” Business Horizons 53.1 (2010): 59-68. Print.
Kietzmann, H. Jan, Hermkens, K., McCarthy, P. Ian, and Bruno S. Silvestre. “Social Media? Get Serious! Understanding the Functional Building Blocks of Social Media.” Business Horizons 54 (2011): 241–251. Print.