Where Were You When

(Design, 2011)

(Design, 2011)

Like for a prayer… Repost if you’d save this animal… Help them reach 10,000 likes… Share if you agree!

We’ve all seen it. Most of us have done it. I am all for showing support, no harm done, but in the past five years the click of a ‘like’ or ‘share’ button has proved to be far more powerful than finger exercises and a momentary thought from behind a computer screen.

(Sexy Social Media, 2014)

(Sexy Social Media, 2014)

2010 in Tunisia, Mohamed Bouazizi, the breadwinner for his family, had the cart he used to sell fruit and vegetables at the local market confiscated by a policewoman. When he refused to pay the corresponding fine, Bouazizi was allegedly assaulted by the policewoman. When local authorities declined his plea for assistance, Mohammed Bouazizi set himself on fire outside the local government building.

That was the spark. What came after was an enduring blaze.

Through social media, videos and photos of Bouazizi’s act spread, resonating with citizens across the country. Protests began everywhere, demanding that President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali step down and his regime abolished. The outrage bred solely from the broadcasting of a single event on social media worked. Ten days after Mohamed Bouazizi’s death, the reign was over.

Clicktivism. Online acitivism. News spread of the results in Tunisia and sparked uprisings across the Middle East. This was the Arab Spring.

Social media has given the world a way to share enormous amounts of uncensored information and footage. Ordinary people around the world have the ability to voice opinions, expose immoral or corrupt regimes and those their leaders. They can start protests and even overthrow dictatorships. Online activists can connect across oceans. This phenomenon is a force to be reckoned with.  Maybe peace stood in the hands of the people all along. 

(Ertell, 2013)

(Ertell, 2013)

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