Politics 2.0: Social Mobilization and Protest



After reading this article I realized that their truly has been a revolution in our world today.  Yes, it is partly the internet in general, but I think more specifically it is social medial.  The way social media allows people to communicate and know about each other seems almost surreal.  It takes almost no effort to get in touch with people or just share your opinion to the world and have people read and respond to you.  It takes seconds, as though we are living in a small town where everybody knows everything about you… only it is the whole world.  Websites like facebook allow you to realize this. One of the most positive things this revolution has led to is social activism online.

I find it incredible how people can  protest, share photos, call for help all on their facebooks or twitters, and within second the world knows and people can literally change the world like this.  It puts in to perspective how much power the internet gives us to literally change opinions, teach and learn fro others.

Malcolm Gladwell talks about how in the 60s it weeks to join approximetely seventy thousand people to join in a protest againt segregation, today it it takes a matter of hours.  “‘Without Twitter the people of Iran would not have felt empowered and confident to stand up for freedom and democracy,’ Mark Pfeifle, a former national-security adviser, later wrote, calling for Twitter to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.”  Via social networking Irani people could defend themselves and communicate what was really goig on in the world without any boundries.  During the occupy wallstreet movement social media had a huge impact aswell.  We are even able to keep better track of Al Qaeda though the internet.

This way of protesting has almost no limits.  Whether the dovernment likes it or not people are going to post their ideas and opnions and there is really nothing that can stop people.  The internet has given power over things that alwasy made us completely powerless in the past.  It is evident that this is not just a fase or a trend, but this is a revolution that has left a huge mark in human history.


How to use social media and look like a rockstar on a recruiter’s radar 25th March 2012 by Dan Taylor


It is truly fascinating how the way people are portrayed online can literally influence the rest of our lives including your relationships and even careers.  Every piece of information posted online can work to your advantage or potentially destroy you.  This means that all the drunken pictures and silly comments that teenagers and adults post on their facebooks and blogs may actually have more severe consequences then just humiliation amongst their friends.

Today, ” 89% of companies [are] using social media as part of their recruitment process.”  This means that every school or job you apply for may not just be judging you based on your resume’ but also on your online reputation.  It is likely the recruiter might already know more about you that what you want them to.

People seeking to get hired or in to their dream schools must track their online reputations, making sure that everything they put on the internet is consistent and perhaps it is necessary to ask to take those unwanted pictures.  “Whether you’re actively looking for a gig, or simply using social media to present yourself to the world with the ‘I’m employed, but make me an offer, and let’s talk’ sign on in the background, it’s important to always be selling yourself.”  Social media has shifted from being purely for social enjoyment to actually becoming your online persona that is not only judged by friends.  By having an online account you are self-marketing yourself, showing people who you are and what makes you stand out of the crowed.

Whether we like it or not, we must take this in to consideration.  Even my friends finishing their senior year in highschool have changed their real names on facebook so the admissions committees at universities cannot find them.  Although it seems unfair, it such such an easy and accurate way of judging people.  Even colleges are tempted to look.

Although I think there are many positive aspects about self advertising yourself online, I can’t help but feel slightly violated.   I have been on facebook for about five years now, it has almost become like a scrapbook.  I have pictures posted since 2007 with my friends and family.  I use facebook as a way of connecting with people I care about who I don’t see often.  The fact that I get judged by my boss or school because of my social life doesn’t seem right.  This way of judging people says so much about what our societies real values are. We get just by our persona’s on facebook and blogs, not by our qualifications.  It seems like social status and the way you present yourself means more then your actual talent.

The fact that we cannot have a clear distinction between social life and work life online, defies human nature. We do not live only to impress our boss, we also live for our friends and to be happy.  By judging our social lives online we are basing too much of our lives on “success” and work.  I do not think this is the most important thing in life and I don’t think it is healthy either. I am not talking about sites like linkedin, which purpose is to find a job, but I think sites like facebook, blogspot, tumblr, flickr, etc… should remain strictly amongst friends and it should not be used for anything else.

“professionals” to “amateurs”


For centuries people have been required to get up at 7am for their early classes, search for hours in libraries for the right book, awkwardly approach your crush face to face to ask them out, basically people did not have the same opportunities that we do, the internet did not exist.  In order to be successful you needed to study and have the right qualifications to practice what you did with the public.  Today, in the 21st century, that seems to have all changed in a way that will revolutionize the world forever.  Education, journalism, socializing, advertizing, shopping, and more has shifted to our miniscule smartphones, ipads and computers.  We have the power and opportunity that our ancestors could only dream of.  Could we call internet a revolution?  It has turned our society around, given us the power to express ourselves to the public, and communicate to a friend across the globe for free and in a matter of seconds.  We have a sort of freedom that people before us did not have, we can communicate and express ourselves with no rules, with no borders.

Today if a citizen wants to express an opinion there is nothing stopping them, all it takes is the click of the send button on whatever device is in front of them.  A person who hasn’t gone to school a day in his life could become the next best-selling author or most notable journalist.  There are blogs and websites that provide news and history and these websites are sited and viewed by millions of researchers and students.  “Established journalists have been forced to adjust to the realities of “citizen journalism” where anyone can start an online news source and compete with large-scale players. Teachers and professors, too, have been forced to come to terms with the impact of online technology with the emergence of online education and “virtual classrooms“ (http://internetglobalizationclass.wordpress.com/2011/11/12/disrupted-professions-citizen-journalism-education-2-0/).  Technology is forcing employers to change their ways and adapt to this new monopoly called the internet.  Citizen journalism, such as blogs, gives everyone the opportunity to get noticed and send out a message, not only the professionals.  This leads me to question, if today everyone is replacing physical life for the internet, what will our society be like in 50 years?  If everything just going to turn in to one computer?  Although the freedom to express yourself on the internet is wonderful, how do we know who to trust if you are not required any qualifications? Perhaps the internet does cause some dangers.

The internet allows for a certain kind of democratization.  People have the power to review almost any product, restaurant, city, and even professor, making it impossible to maintain a falsely clean reputation.  In order to critique something, your name or background makes no difference, it is only what you say that matters.  “Many people now trust these sites more than they do “professional” critics” (http://internetglobalizationclass.wordpress.com/2011/11/19/rating-ranking-reviewing-everyone-is-a-critic/).  On websites such as yelp, people read the true stories that are unedited, unpretentious, and most importantly unbiased.  These honest reviews are useful for the clients but also ruin the reputation of professionals, businesses and even schools.  For example, because of the website ratemyprofessor.com there is now a list of the top 25 schools with the worst professors.  This list includes Drexel University and Pace, two world-wide respected schools.

This system of communication via internet has opened an infinite amount of doors to society.  Every citizen can get their message across today because on the internet there are no limits, rules or laws.  It is a way of connecting the world, and expressing your ideas in a way that only 30 years ago would be impossible.