My mom repeated her social media blasphemy.
“Twitter is a waste of time,” said told me several times.
I don’t spend as much time anymore on Twitter. People started annoying me especially as the presidential election approached. But I continue to believe Twitter is a useful tool for businesses to share their knowledge and establish a place in their industry. This argument hasn’t persuaded mom to stop saying, “Twitter is a waste of time.” She focuses on the silly statements people post to Twitter.
But current events, both domestically and internationally, remind me of Twitter’s reach.
“In Gaza Conflict, Fighting With Weapons and Postings on Twitter,” read The New York Times headline Nov. 22.
I read about Twitter again in The New York Times in an article about conflict in Egypt: “Mohamed ElBaradei, an opposition leader and former United Nations diplomat, sent a Twitter message that the draft constitution “undermines basic freedoms and violates universal values.”
The New York Times: “On Mr. Netanyahu’s Facebook page, Gila Glickerman, the mother of a combat soldier, thanked the prime minister for bringing her son home, while Shai Solomon wrote, ‘You’ve just lost a vote at the ballot box.’”
Next, a Times article about Syria: “The protest took place despite more than two days of Internet failures that slowed the spread of the call for action. Called the “Strike of Pride,” it was announced on Facebook and other social media sites beginning a week ago, as well as by activists who dropped leaflets and spray-painted the news on walls.”
I’m not sure Skype is social media in the true sense, but Syria coverage included Skype. Again, The New York Times: “For months, rebels fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad have used Skype, a peer-to-peer Internet communication system, to organize and talk to outside news organizations and activists.”
Domestically, President Obama and The White House Tweeted so often about issues related to the fiscal cliff, the hashtag “#My2K” trended nationally. Five days later, The White House Tweeted, “Hey guys, this is barack. ready to answer your questions on fiscal cliff & #my2k. Let’s get started. – bo.” Moments after someone suggested to me the President was not Tweeting himself, we saw a picture of the President apparently Tweeting. I tried to take part in the conversation, too.
These examples are simply reminders that social media continues to play a significant role in communication at the highest levels of war and politics across the world. For every silly example of people posting on social media about what they ate for lunch, there is an example of Twitter’s true influence.
And if leaders of countries and those involved in combat continue to acknowledge the reach of social media, so can a small business down the street.
What do you think mom?