Social network service and social movements

by Kaori Isobe

Throughout 2010 to2011, many people in Arabic countries gathered up and did social movements. This is called Arab Spring. Since long time ago, social movements were occurred a lot by protesters. However, Arab Spring was a bit different from former ones. Want was a difference is that many protesters uses social network service to get and spread information by using social network service such as Facebook and Twitter.

Social network service is an online service and site that focuses on facilitating the building of social networks or social relations, real life connections, activities and so on. As spreading the Internet environment, the number of SNS users is increased. For instance, Facebook is strongly growing and reached over 1,000,000,000 users in October of 2012, compering to 600,000,000 users of January, 2011. Including me, users are able to write and post about what they think, pictures, links from other site and so on. Also users are able to share posts so that their friends are able to see my pots. If suppose am I post something like ‘Let’s do protest!’ or something like this on my Facebook page. If my friends like my post, push ‘Like’ to my post, and my friends’ friends will be able to see this. Then my post will spread to other people easily.

In a case of Arab spring, according to statistics, about 80percent of Facebook users in Egypt and the republic of Tunisia used Facebook to get and spread information about social movements. As social movements getting extreme, the number of Facebook users was increased. Furthermore, this social network connected to networks in real-life, which mean people who didn’t use Facebook, also could get information rapidly from real life connections with Thor friends who used Facebook. Social network service is related to social movement deeply because it’s easy to spread information and emphasize. This situation makes people get involve in social movement much easier. This is one of reasons why many people could involve in Arab Spring.

Social network service is working through the Internet, so sometimes it’s dangerous. There is a possibility that someone attacks your page with specific skills, or some information might be wrong. Thus, we have to be careful. However, as I mentioned in above paragraph, social network service has power. Young people are likely to use social network service than elderly people are. It’s getting much easier to make young people participate in social movements, and they may be going to be interested in society much more. Then the society will become much better.

Moreover, in recent years, young people tend not to be involved in society very much. This is because young people don’t have interests in society even their generation will be coming soon.  Or some of them try to change society with complaint. However, their voice is still small. I have many things to ask the government but people around me do not have interests.  I hope young people, especially in Japan, will have much more power to change society like Arab Spring.  And social network service is a good way to do it.

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