Blog9: Online and Offline movements should be emerged.
Recent uprising in Middle East and North Africa has proven the importance of internet and especially social networking sites in the political revolution. Even though, almost all of the dictators in those countries censor their national media and infringe the freedom of speech of citizens very harshly, lots of people in Egypt, Libya, Yemen and others countries, are delivering their strong desire for freedom to other countries and international media.
Participating political movement online is much easier and simpler than that of offline. People could express their political opinions by just clicking ‘like’ button in Facebook or do ‘re-tweets’ in Twitter. Because of this simple procedure, people could easily figure it out whether their political ideas gain sympathy from people or not.
To achieve successful political movement, knowing and understanding others opinion is very integral and internet makes it very easy.
For example, last year September, Tyler Clementi, who was a freshman student at Rutgers University and also a sexual minority, committed a suicide because his roommate did live broadcasting of his sexual conduct to whole campus by using hidden camera. Since the tragedy, 131,901 people click ‘like’ button in honor of Tyler Clementi Facebook page. Without the Facebook page, we may never know how many people expressed grievance on the death of Tyler.
However, I am not saying that only clicking ‘like’ button in Facebook, or do ‘re-tweeting’ in twitter at the couch in the home would change the world. Historically as always, if people want to have real change, they should come out to streets and cry out their desire for justice.
But, here is one thing that we should give our attention, the line between ‘online’ and ‘offline’ political movements have been disappeared and they become converged. Lots of people who click ‘like’ button in Tyler Clementi Facebook page actually came out to street to protest for the equal gay right. In addition, lots of Egyptians who successfully expelled Hosani Mubarak used social media for disseminating ‘real news’ of the ongoing revolution as well as came out to Tahrir square to having actual demonstration against Mubarak.
I assure that when online and offline political movement emerged, they give out light with lots of potential for real change, but without their emerging, they wouldn’t give out much light as they are together.
Lots of media saying that ‘Twitter’ or ‘Facebook’ change the world and lead the political revolution in Middle East. I think this is very naive statement that is lack of historical knowledge. In the history, whenever any new technology or devices such as radio, television or ships were invented, people have been saying the same thing as they are saying about twitter and Facebook.
Social networking sites are great tools to help change the world, but tool is just tool. Although the greatest tool in the world are given to people, if people don’t have courage and desire for justice and freedom which is worth for risking their lives sometimes, there shouldn’t be any political change in the future.
Thanks to Twitter and Facebook, but you guys are not enough to change the world without ‘us’.