I have been called “Facebook Enthusiast” as a pejorative and “Information Junkie” as a compliment. I find it confusing that the same people in my life who excoriate social media look at me with misty eyed admiration as I describe events in Iran and offer my humble analysis. The kind of information I’ve been sharing with my offline friends, relatives and colleagues these past weeks was not the result my studies of the region or any keen insight or powers of analysis. It came from my worldwide contacts in connected social networks.
A frightening majority still share the blank expressions of those who have no experience and no real regard for those who build genuine and connected social networks and are able to take responsibility for their own understanding of world events. The events in Iran are taking their current direction because Twitter allowed those hungry for the truth to be fed by those suffering and dying for it. It showed the world that they need never rely on traditional media –that people can self-educate organize and elicit change both at home and a world away.
I ask you again- as the debate rages on about Twitter and whether it and other forms of participatory media should have a permanent and prominent place in the 21st Century Classrooms of our nation? Who are the people saying no?