As recently discussed in class their is and has been speculation as to whether or not the use of social media is successful in promoting certain messages and increasing involvement. When somebody retweets an important message, is it actually improving the situation or is it simply just relaying the message? Karpf would argue that when we use social media in this way we are not actually helping the situation, and our involvement is based around our own needs to feel better about ourselves. However, this is not completely true. Social media does in fact allow for aid in specific situations.
Social media has played a huge role in communication in the middle east and northern Africa. Howard discusses in his article “The Role of Digital Media,” how social media was able to allow for instantaneous and widely shared information (Howard). This information allowed followers to become more organized and learn about information from their peers in similar situations. This was the one form of communication that had not been censored by the government and because of this became a tool to all of those involved (Howard). Howard’s opinion was then challenged by Anderson as to whether or not social media was making as big of an impact as he thought. She argues that while social media is great, to call it a revolution would be incorrect (Anderson).
With the argument that social media has to capability to organize the masses, and the counter argument that its impact is only as strong as the civic engagement that follows it – which do you find to be true? Do you feel that social media can revolutionize how we communicate in challenging times?