The Revolution Will Be Televised..Tweeted...Facebooked...and YouTubed
So I assume that you all know that there is a revolution that is happening in Egypt as you read this post (assuming it's still January of 2011). Also, a revolution has occurred in Tunisia and people are saying that Twitter and other social media channels have facilitated the events.
While discussing the issues with my parents, I asked them how their lives would be different if they had a view of the outside world through social media when they were young. I wanted to know if experiencing the world through YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and the internet would have psychologically altered their understanding of life, freedom and revolutions.
My parent grew up in a world without resources. They barely had any books in their town, and if they existed, they couldn't afford them anyways. My dad used to tell me that they didn't really know what America and Europe had to offer. He came to Chicago in the early 70s and expected to go back to Syria until he realized America was the place of opportunity, and more importantly, freedom. Imagine that, one of the most intelligent people I've ever met didn't realize what America had to offer. Why? Simply because they had no exposure to the outside world, other than folk tails and from a friend of a friend of a friend's dad's son's brother's cat's owner.
So how would our parents react to their situation if they had access to the outside world. Would of my father and his friends could log onto the internet and see videos on YouTube, photos of Flickr, Tweets and Facebook posts from free men and women who didn't have to watch what they said in fear of death. How enlightened would our parents be if they could wikipedia anything they were questioning. Would of they could study, understand and learn about life from an infinite world of resources, rather than religion or political suppression? How would their psychological mindset be altered? Do you think they would have tolerated the political and social environment of their times?
I don't believe they would and that is exactly what is happening across the world. Millions of suppressed people are realizing that freedom isn't geographical, it's political and it should be everywhere. The Egyptian people are fed up with their bullshit government and want to change the world around them. And as that infamous Ghandi quote goes: "be the change you want to see in the world."
So how would the world be different if social media was available 100 years ago? How would the world wars, the cold war, the gulf war, the middle eastern conflicts played out if we had real-time access to the events? Not only do we know that a revolution is happening in Egypt but we can see it happening, in real time, by simply logging onto to Twitter or Facebook or YouTube. We can see the millions of people stepping up and supporting what they believe. Likewise, we can see the militaristic governments suppress the population as they have for over a hundred years. How does that make you feel? As you read this post on you sweet $2000 MacBook, while thousands of Egyptians are being arrested, killed and suppressed for wanting nothing more than the ability to live completely free, from a government that hinders their ability to grow and "become who they are."