The turmoil of Egypt is being heavily broadcast and relevant in the news. This civilian led revolution became more visible with the invention of social media sites including Twitter and Facebook. On January 25th, the Egyptian streets erupted in protest of their government. The dissatisfaction of the Egyptians with the 30-year-reigning Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak became one of the top news stories overnight, thanks to media coverage as well as the buzz on social media sites.
Facebook played a huge role with an 80,000 fan, fan page. Twitter helped mobilize the protesters with the #Jan25 hashtag to refer the event. As these peaceful protests began to escalate, the Egyptian government quickly shut down the social networks and eventually shut down Internet access completely throughout the country.
How Social Media has Changed the World
In addition to redefining how people interact with each other, the social media movement has influenced many facets of our world. The Egyptian protest is just the latest news in an Internet movement that is undeniably powerful. It seems as though social media has become the new way for anybody and everybody to mass organize and work toward a cause, whatever that may be. If Facebook and Twitter can organize a nationwide protest, what else is it capable of?
The protest in Egypt even got the attention of Wael Ghonhim, Google’s head of marketing in the Middle East and North Africa. "A government that is scared of #Facebook and #Twitter should govern a city in Farmville but not a country like #Egypt#Jan25," tweeted Wael Ghonhim, Google's Head of Marketing for the Middle East and North Africa.
The fact that this statement is understandable by most of the world itself is a testimony to the power of Facebook. Most Internet savvy individuals are familiar with the Farmville game. By the way, "Farmville" refers to a game that allows Facebook users to manage a virtual farm. After the statement, Ghonhim went missing but has recently been released. Amidst the protest, the world say Egyptian leader Mubarak announcing that he would step down as president and so on, the story still unfolds.
One thing is for sure! Social media has changed the way we communicate and advertise. Twitter and Facebook have made it possible to become connected with millions of individuals around the world and to coordinate events & activities at an unheard level. Those who have been following the social media trend have been aware of its potential, but the Egyptian revolution is perhaps one of the largest and relevant events that it has directly influenced.
There’s really no telling where the age of social media will take us next, but for now, it’s clear that its power continues to grow. What will it do next?