Social media means websites and technology that allows people to write, share, evaluate, discuss and communicate with each other. It is also used to share opinions, ideas, experiences and ideas of tools and platforms between each other (Kietzmann, Hermkens, McCarthy, & Silvestre, 2011). There are many kinds of forms of the social network, including blogs, business networks, microblogs, social gaming, photo sharing and video sharing services. The information of social media has become an important content of the Internet, not only produces the debates about hot topics among the social activities of people’s live, but also attracts traditional media to follow up.
In addition, the rapid development of social media depends on the Web 2.0 technology.
It refers to an Internet product model that dominated by the user created content by using the web platforms (O’Reilly, 2005). In order to distinguish with the traditional websites that dominated by employee created content, so is defined as the second generation of the Internet, the Web 2.0. It includes blogs, social networking sites, video sharing sites, Wikipedia and Web applications.
Internet applications of Web 2.0 model have characteristics of decentralization, open and share, and the Web 2.0 has four main features. The first is the users created content. In Web 2.0 mode, the users could share ideas without being restricted by time and place. The users could post opinions and share information at the same time. The second is the aggregation of information. In online information will continue to accumulate, and will not be lost. Thirdly, the web 2.0 pay more attention to interactivity. Not only users have interactions between web servers in the process of publishing content, but also realize the interactions between different users on the same site, as well as the interaction between different websites. The last feature of web 2.0 is that the new platforms are more open and have more active users. The platforms are open for users and maintain relatively high loyalty, because of the interests.
Political effects on social media
Social media has a profound change on human society, and it also has a huge impact on the political process. Since the rise of social media worldwide, it also caused great changes in the Middle East. The entire Arab world is now at the rising stage of the social media and digital era. According to statistics, by the year of 2011, 17 million people in the Arab world used Facebook (Ghannam, 2011).
Not just in Egypt and the west bank, the residents in the Middle East like to use Facebook as a social tool. It is easier and more convenient for users to establish, update, and maintain the personal blog. For example in the Gaza Strip, Facebook is used as a personal communication tool; twitter is more suitable for the scheduling of people. These tools are more suitable in their social networking habits, and they can also be applied to the living environment under high pressure of working. And blogs need to be continually updated to may maintain loyal readers, and attract new followers. However, in order to maintain loyal readers and attract new followers, the blog needs to constantly update. So it has been replaced by the new social media networks.
In the Arab spring, social media played an important role. On December 18, 2010, the Tunisian people organized anti-government demonstrations through social media networks, and they overthrew the ruling for 23 years of President Ben Ali’s dictatorial era. The national flower of Tunisia is jasmine, so this revolution also called the “jasmine revolution”. In the midst of this revolution, twitter and other social networks made great contributions especially in mobilizing the masses. Egypt and some other relevant national authorities even decided to temporarily cut off the social media networks.
Someone called the Arab spring as “revolution of voice” or “twitter revolution”. They are want to highlight the vital roles of social media which represented by Facebook and Twitter in the process of society. Since social media can enable different people to express different voices on the Internet, even the rhetoric of criticizing authoritarian governments. It made social network spread quickly in the Arab world, especially among young people.
The role of social media in the Arab spring mainly is the exposure of corruption inside, and leading to widespread public dissatisfaction. After the outbreak of demonstrations, people also transferred information to each other through social media networks. Social media like Facebook and twitter in demonstrations of Tunisia and Egypt played a role of contact and release platforms. In addition, social media made real-time reporting to the parades and provided a new power of continuing the protests.
However, social networking is fragile. The type of behaviorism like Twitter and Facebook, is effective in promoting participation, but it is at the expense of weakening participation motives (Gladwell, 2006). The real behaviorism is based on the social relation of close friendship and sharing. This is a kind of social culture, people have needs to meet and talk with people, and social network cannot take the place of this kind of demand. However, it does not mean that people do not need to spend time in social media networks to update their Twitter and Facebook. It also may affect the true relationship between people. The network cannot replace the demand of the mutual connection person-to-person, but we also cannot ignore the effects on relationships between people by the information from social media networks.
Reflections on social media campaign and the future development of social
Because of the huge influence of social media, my campaign is based on social media platforms. I mainly choose three platforms: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Although my activity is not very successful, but I have learned the importance of original content, and I still think social media platforms have enormous commercial and culture potential, and they can create huge commercial value.
In the future development of the social media, the information of Internet will inevitably become more targeted, in order to cater the different needs of users. The future of social media platforms can block out 90% of the information what we do not need and show us the remaining 10% of the information what we want to know also need to know. Because on the Internet, users have too many things to read, too many people to communicate, too many photos to appreciate, but they do not have enough time to do it.
Furthermore, all platforms will become socialize, not through digital user base, but through the measure of the quality of life. When you are doing one thing, if you found that some friends are also involved in, who is here, what are they doing, watching, reading and listening, you will have the interest to participate in more. FourSquare’s Radar function can remind you that your friend found anything interesting when you are walking, this function will also appear in the TV.
In conclusion, Social media has and will continue to keep the enormous influence. It will continue to develop to cater people’s growing social needs, including decentralization, virtualization and intellectualization. It also has the invisible trend, as social media becomes more and more intelligent, huge and ubiquitous, the word will disappear. Because it is too ubiquitous to attract the attention of people, just like the hum from the household appliances.
Ghannam, J. (2011). Social Media in the Arab World: Leading up to the Uprisings of 2011.
Gladwell, M. (2006). The tipping point: How little things can make a big difference. Little, Brown.
Kietzmann, J. H., Hermkens, K., McCarthy, I. P., & Silvestre, B. S. (2011). Social media? Get serious! Understanding the functional building blocks of social media. Business Horizons, 241-251.
O’Reilly, T. (2005, 09 30). What Is Web 2.0. Retrieved from O’REILLY: http://www.oreilly.com/pub/a/web2/archive/what-is-web-20.html