Usually when one says something is viral, we think of a YouTube video of someone making a fool of themselves for 15 minutes of fame. Recent events in North Africa have given a whole new meaning to “viral”. Who would have thought that a revolution could be organized and even some would argue, won, with the help of social media avenues as Twitter, You Tube and Facebook? Yet that has primarily been the case.
When the people of Tunisia flocked to Twitter to organize campaigns against (and shortly thereafter oust) the then ruling regime, the world took note. But to say this “viral revolution” only took roughly one or two weeks before it was won? Now that’s just amazing.
So it comes as no big surprise that when the people of Egypt decided to follow suit and start their own revolution to oust their dictator, one of the first things the powers that be did was….. shut down the internet! Yes you heard right, they didn’t bring out the military. They didn’t even call the media to try to sway international opinion as a first option. Rather, in an effort to slow down the revolution, they shut down the internet.
Just how far can this social media phenomenon take us? Some have argued that in using social media, we have taken away the human face to face element. While that may be true to an extent, the two aforementioned events mentioned have actually brought people together, young and old, to work and even die for a common cause.
We may or may not live under a dictatorship, but recent events have challenged all of us to find ways in which we can utilize current technology to not only better ourselves but also society as a whole. The question is, are you up to the challenge?