Movements in a digital age

If there is one hope for peace in the world, it is from social media sites. During the Arab Spring in Tehran, and countless revolutions across North Africa and the Middle East, Twitter has been credited as the go-to tool for organizing massive protests. In the short term, unfortunately, this organizing will lead to violence due to the nature of the protests, however, the hope is that this temporary violence will be followed by a free people governed by a democratic electorate. It’s hard for us as Americans to understand what using Twitter to start a riot would feel like, or what would push you so far to do such a thing. Most Americans simply use it to communicate with friends, follow celebrities, etc. But what we see as a luxury others see as a key to liberty and that is something that definitely deserves attention.

Sites like Twitter should be nominated for Nobel Peace Prizes for their part in ushering in revolutions and allowing the distribution of uncensored information, keeping government across the world in check. The digital community in many ways is the watchdog of the world, the Internet has increasingly become a place of government exposure. What do all of these trends mean for us in the long term? That’s hard to say but one thing remains true, it will benefit democracy and freedom for all people, that goes without saying.

Most Internet experts dissect the piecemeal internet looking for ‘movements’ but what they fail to see is the big picture; the Internet itself is the revolution. For Google, the web provides an outlet for the information revolution. For social media, it’s a social revolution. For every niche within the web, there is at least one web based product disrupting that industry. A great example is advertising, another industry dominated by Google. This past week, Publicis and Omincom, the two largest ad agencies in the world, merged to compete with Google. Add both of their revenues together and they still don’t match up with Google’s 35 billion plus annual ad revenue.

For many businesses, these niche companies are disrupting major industries rendering competitors obsolete and the need for employees scarce. For all the good these technological revolutions are having, there is always collateral damage. That being said, in the long run, it will benefit everyone. If we, as as people, can learn to remain skilled, adaptable and specialized we will always succeed, no matter what disrupts the industry in which we work.

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