By Alejandra Orias Garita - International Relations degree student
Is social media helping create a bigger impact on the development of social revolts? Since it was created, social media has played a significant role on our everyday life. We live in an age where many of us are immerse in social media, people share everything that is going on in their lives and with news, we can now know what is happening in other countries within a few minutes; for example, what is happening with the Coronavirus. Although we know social media has a great impact on our lives, why did it have a tremendous effect on the Arab Spring? This revolution became the first social movement of the XXI century that has developed through social media.
“Arab Spring” is the name with which a series of manifestations of popular character had been immediately identified, these manifestations led to the fall of dictatorships of Ben Ali in Tunisia and Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. It started in the year of 2010, specifically at the end of it. This social movement begun in Tunisia with the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi. (Skinner, 2011).
Additionally, the word “spring” means that these revolts are the product of the maturity of a society fed up with the little distribution of national wealth, and wishes to be more included in the political decisions. In the last years before the revolts in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria, there were a lot of things happening; for example, politics were not right. Many of these social movements were made and organized through social media which made a different sense to the movements of the XXI century. (Wolfsfeld, Segev & Sheafer, 2013). For the people that were part of the national revolts, social media became a method of communication due to the social oppression that was caused by their own government, politics didn’t want other countries to know what was going on in the Middle East. People was not happy with what was going on in their country and this is why the social media became a form of expression for the people to talk about the revolts, and feel more free about their thoughts. (Stepanova, 2011).
Also, social media is a very important tool of communication. For the younger generations, it has become their very own form of connection with other people. With it, we can find out everything that is going on in the world with just one click. This is why newspapers now have their own mobile apps, like the New York Times, and it is very important to be up to date with the current news.
To sum up everything that has been stated, I think social media is immersed in our everyday lives, and it’s important to include them in the social movements like the Arab Spring. Thanks to it, people from other countries can get involve in some way, perhaps by sharing the things that are happening. For example, without the use of the social media, people wouldn’t have heard about the fires in Amazons or in Australia, due to this, a lot of people made donations to both causes, and they got to help a lot of animals and families. Although, sometimes social media doesn’t make the best impact in our lives, to talk about the revolts on it, is the best way to help, find out what is going on, and perhaps stop social oppression that the population has been suffering throughout the years.