Regime change in 140 characters

by mollykl

Whilst the world as I know it is on Twitter, I am not. I assume that the world as I know it is not interested in what I’m eating for lunch, what my thoughts are on the cloud above me and how it looks like a fuzzy bunny, or the cute things my 4-year old son says (yeah, I know, I tell my co-workers anyway – suck it up and deal).

Had I known that I could start a revolution with it I’d have signed up ages ago. The role of Twitter and Facebook in the revolution in Egypt are not surprising. Well, let me amend that: I’m not surprised they played such a large role, but I am surprised that it’s happening now. I’d assumed this use of  information technology in changing, rather than merely informing, our political structures was still years away. It seems a very short step from watching as-close-as-it-got-for-the-time news stories from Vietnam to seeing a revolution unfold via Twitter posts.

This from someone who was forced to learn to text for a class. Regardless of the fancy title Master of Science in Library and Information Sciences, I’m still (Kindle and newfound love of e-books notwithstanding) very bah-humbug about social media.  The past few weeks, however, have shown me what it’s capable of.

Peggy Noonan wrote, in the Wall Street Journal, “With the rise of new media, governments have fully lost the capacity to be discreet or silent.”

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for the Democratic and Republican conventions.

See you on Twitter and Facebook.