Social media is an internet-based application that builds on some technological and ideological web-based foundations. This permits for creation and exchange of contents that are generated from the user. Three tools mainly used are Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Facebook is a social site that helps people communicate and interact more efficiently. Twitter is a network which provides real-time information that gives the latest information on what one finds interesting. On the other hand, YouTube is an online video that makes it easier to share the original videos throughout the world based on web experience. These tools allow for online communication through participation and collaboration (Brunty and Helenek 20).
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Social Media’s Influence
Social media tools help people to connect and give individuals awareness of an issue worldwide. This, in turn, helps to usurp authoritarian governments while uniting people in a crisis. These tools are quite useful to get fast information such as nearby hospitals when people are in danger. For instance, “‘a highly coordinated use of social media occurred during the 2008-9 Israel Gaza conflict whereby amateur journalists reported developments over Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter” (Tierney 9). This is one situation whereby the media played an important role in communication. In this case, we can say that social media does not only help to interact, but also transfer meaningful information which can help save peoples’ lives.
During the 2009 Iran Revolution, the use of social media shows both the benefits and dangers of communicating through social media. Social media was not only used to spread useful information on the ground but also spread false rumors which were beneficial to the protestors. Iranians used to communicate about places not to go. The government tried its best to cut down these media networks. To avoid this, people secured a server outside Iran for use in organizing protests. “Sympathetic and curious people outside the country were also able to use social media to publicize the protests” (Gupta and Brooks 6). Therefore, social media plays an important role in helping protestors create awareness of protests (Gupta and Brooks 4).
Social media for Haiti earthquake relief shows how money can be raised faster, in the cause of urgent issues, connect while also creating awareness on the dangers of scams. Social media can be very effective in uniting people who are unconnected for a cause. This shows the strength of a single action for a community to seek evolution into leaders of change. When citizens are united, it goes with no doubt that they can better their country. This reflects the words of Seib “effective diplomacy cannot be done on the fly, it requires back-and-forth among parties and ability to listen and respond carefully” (Seib 1). After all, the good done by social media during the Iran earthquake, the social tools like Facebook and Twitter were plagued with scams after the quake (Seib 3). This creates attention to the negative side of social media. Just as it gives everyone a chance to be a journalist, it also demands everyone to differentiate between news, nonsense and scam.
Social media is a useful tool for communication and political mobilization. Additionally, it is the very crucial site for money funding during emergencies which promotes unity in a country, as well as worldwide. However, users ought to be careful of misleading information based on rumors which could be very dangerous.
Brunty, Joshua L and Katherine Helenek. Social Media Investigation for Law Enforcement. London: Newnes, 2012. Web.
Gupta, Ravi and Hugh Brooks. Using Social Media for Global Security. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2013. Web.
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Seib, Philip. Real-Time Diplomacy: Politics and Power in the Social Media Era. USA: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. Web.
Tierney, Therese. The Public Space of Social Media: Connected Cultures of the Network Society. New York: Routledge, 2013. Web.