When I first heard this statement in class, “the revolution cannot be tweeted,” I completely disagreed. Social media for me is a revolution itself. It has changed the way people communicate, interact, and gain knowledge. That sounds pretty revolutionary. It is, but not in the way Malcom Gladwell highlights.
Gladwell mentions an abundant amount of issues worldwide including conflicts in Iran, Palestine, and one that is outdated that happened in Greensboro, North Carolina. In our social media, we are able to create an identity. We showcase our interest, opinions and views on matters, and the way we feel. Although social media is a great place to show that you support a cause, you are not part of the movement. By sharing we feel like we contributed to the cause, making us feel like radicals. It makes us feel better about ourselves. Okay, that sounds harsh, let me re-word. You are not part of a concrete movement, meaning that you are not physically acting upon an issue.
Compare what we would consider activism through Twitter versus what the four young men did in North Carolina. There is no way that sharing or tweeting a post can possibly be equal to physically resisting the police, hate threats, or going against society at the time.
The revolution requires awareness, which Twitter and other social media platforms can be extremely helpful, but need a bit more than that. It needs action, drive, and persistence. It requires time and effort. It requires sacrifice. Gladwell highlights the fact that revolutions most of the time involve violence that does not compare to someone commenting rudely or disagreeing on your post.
Social media is a great tool for interaction and sharing points of views, but it is just that. You create an identity that can have endless friends, but which are the real ones? You can sign petitions, so that is new activism? Activism is based on action, and social media can help the “ease and speed which a group can be mobilized for the right kind of cause.” But that is just the first step, the revolution requires much more.