TH believe that social media are not able to cause political revolution


It’s another exhausting Tuesday, but it was really fun! The morning class discussed about theory of meetings and organizations. I remember hours of meetings during my ‘organizership’ in SEF. Oh, those annoying, silly, time-wasting, I-wanna-punch-your-face and my-opinion-is-the-best meetings. As much as I hate it, I cannot believe I survive it.

I have been feeling down lately. I cannot point out the reason behind all this gloomy feelings, but I know I just need to wake up everyday and embrace everything that’s coming my way.

This morning I read a blog posting from my associate professor, Mark Poole. It was intriguing and I couldn’t help but reflect his writing to my own case. He claims that social networking kill creative spirit. Somehow I agree with his opinion. We are too busy spending time online, seeking ‘fake’ acknowledgement’ to boost our ‘flawed’ self-esteem in the hope that we will love ourself more. Oh well, that might be my case. Point is, I am using social media to fulfill the empty space and distract myself from all the depressing thoughts. I have less time reading books and enjoying the real world. I am not sure I am ready to give up Twitter, Facebook, online games, Instagram, etc. But I am willing to evaluate my online social activities. I am starting to invest more time to write.

Today, I had a debate in the class. Having an experience as a debater during my uni year, I have this urge to speak, so I volunteer myself to be one of the speakers. It went pretty well. It’s not as competitive as I expected it to be, but I had a good time. I got help from Ryry related to the materials for the motion; TH believe that Social Media able to cause political revolution and bring new freedom. I was the third speaker of the opposition team. Here’s the highlight of the debate.

The affirmative team believe that social media’s characteristics (interactive, multi-platform, dynamic, fast pace) are the reasons why political revolution happened. Problem is, they are failed to explain how social media power able to drive a revolution. They mention cases in Egypt and Tunisia and how social media was used to disseminate information and gather people to throw down oppressive government, but we argue that revolutions happened because people have already fed up for years; economic imbalance, poverty, and political instability are among the main trigger. My other speaker supports the motion by explaining the fallacies of internet and how social media can be a double-edged sword depending on who use it. I develop the argument on the basis that the kind of social activism associated with social media is weak ties. The kind of relationship coming from social media is the one that is loose. In Twitter, most people follow (or being followed) by people they have never met, meanwhile Facebook is used to manage relationship with people we will not be able to stay in touch with. In order for a revolution to happen, it takes more than a ‘worldwide trending topic’ or hundreds of ‘like’ and ‘retweets’. It requires strong bonding among the people who have lived under the same situation, whom freedoms are taken away and who are willing to risk their life to support the cause. We cannot get this kind of bonding from the social media users.

Real revolution happens in the street, as what Malcolm Gladwell claims. Social media cannot provide strategy to change the status quo because social media are just tools to build network. We should address the difference between social media activism and traditional activism. What makes both activism different is the hierarchical organizations. Social media have no rules, regulation and leader who will formulate strategies. When transition time comes, they will not have any visible leader to sit and negotiate demands with the existing authority. Revolution is not just an idea that people share on the social networking sites, but it takes action to make it happen.

That is pretty much the summary of my debate. I see the hole in my own arguments but I won’t rebut my own case :p  I am writing this down so I can practice english because my professor complained about ‘high rate error’ in my writings. Let’s not give up and do more practice!

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