Once in the 1800s, the Indians tried to revolt against the suppressive British Raj. During the mobilisation process, messages were sent across the nation written on bread, carefully wrapped in plates by some enthusiastic volunteers. Had the virtual community come alive some 200 years back, I wonder how that would have gone….
Time and time again history has observed the power of unity, often manifesting itself into a revolution. The characters may have been different, however the script has been similar. Take any case, the French Revolution, The American Revolution. Anyone. Individuals of society suffer, they come together, they bring about a revolution. However, the central part of the ‘script’ has gone constant evolution. Today, even if a Turkish and a Srilankan find themselves under the umbrella of a common opinion, they can “come together”.
While understanding and studying the concept of revolutions, it is important to remember that mobilisation of opinions is what truly counts. For opinions are to live on forever, not us. Now, the virtual community is up and running, encapsulating almost every aspect of our lives. Most of all, social media, focussing solely on connecting people, bringing opinions together. And we have already been subjected to its power, its potential. As discussed by Khalid Albeih, the Arab Spring of 2011 spectacularly brought something the world had never really seen before. With Social Media and its wide global usage, freedom, liberty, expression are no longer mere words inscribed in national constitutions; rather their existence is palpable.
However, one still feels that the social media is not yet in its final evolutionary stage. While there is no doubting its popularity, some areas are still untouched. Needless to say, there will be many more “virtual revolutions” finding their roots in social media. There will be many more Khalid Albeihs whose cartoons and subtle political wisodm will impact millions. And we ALL will have a role to play, whether sharing a Facebook post, liking an Instagram or simply browsing through a twitter feed.