So often we come across the word Social Media; what is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear this word? Search for its definition and you are likely to come across this – “Social media is a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user- generated content”. So much for the technical articulation, today the word social media is acquiring a whole new meaning.
The purpose of this piece is two-folds. We want to tell you what social media stands for in this day and age and then we want you to be a part of this amazing phenomenon. Let us start – Flashback to 2011 when the whole world was witness to and also part of a Revolution. The unrest in Egypt gave rise to a revolution that was unheard of in human history, and had at its core an unlikely man as the revolutionary. If you met Wael Ghonim in person you wouldn’t mistake him to be a revolutionary. A Google executive, Ghonim studied Computer engineering at Cairo university and earned an MBA in marketing and finance from the American University at Cairo.
He started a revolution by talking about the unrest and engaging people in conversations on social networks like Facebook and Twitter. His messages struck a chord with people and spread like wild fire wide across the wired networks all across the globe. People came on the streets and supported Ghonim’s voice. The protesters eventually forced president Hosni Mubarak out of his job. It was an unprecedented event in our history because it was the common man led by the bespectacled Ghonim who had created history, they had played a major role in bringing down Mubarak’s regime through ‘updating their statuses’, ‘tweeting’ about it and making it among the most ‘digged’ stories on the internet. In the Egyptian revolution social media actually meant, “Social” – the people, the crowd who collaborate with each other, and “media” – the means through which news spreads.
“I want to meet Mark Zuckerberg one day and thank him, actually. This revolution started – well, a lot of this revolution started on Facebook. If you want to liberate a society, just give them the Internet. If you want to have a free society, just give them Internet.” – Wael Ghonim, Revolutionary.
This week the world is witnessing another revolution of sorts on the social media platforms. It’s a video, one that has gone viral ever since being posted on YouTube. It’s a 30 minute documentary of sorts called “Kony 2012”. By lunch time today the video which is being promoted with the tagline – “where you live should not determine, whether you live” had been viewed over 50 million times.
In the words of Jason Russell, who is the co-founder of Invisible Children and director of “Kony 2012”, the video aims at making Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) famous, not to celebrate him, but to raise support for his arrest and set a precedent for international justice. Now despite of whether he and his organization succeed or not (and we sincerely hope they succeed), if there’s one thing that they have managed to already achieve is that they have garnered an incredible amount of international interest and have grabbed millions of eyeballs with the viral video.
They have used Facebook, Twitter and other such mediums to reach out to as many people as possible and use the support of these people to collectively put pressure on the White House and eventually bring Joseph Kony to justice. This wouldn’t be possible in another world and at any other time in our history, but today social media is defining who we are as a society, the idea of social media is reaching new heights, no more is it just another medium to communicate with your friends and share last night’s birth day party pics, but rather it has become the idea whose time has come, and as the opening words in the video would tell you – “Nothing is more powerful than an idea, Whose time has come”.
“Being a socially responsible organization, we at Dazeinfo encourage you to participate in the stop-kony movement, you can tweet about it with the hash tag #stopkony, share the “kony 2012” video on facebook or whichever social network you are on, here’s the link to the video“.