Critical Analysis: Social Media

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Anthony Moye
ENGL 101 Sec. 5
Fall 2012
They Say / I Say Essay 1
Critical Analysis: Social Media
Find me on Twitter, Facebook, and even MySpace, because we are here to change the world so “follow” me. I have read the writings of Malcolm Gladwell and Dennis Baron to analyze and write about. They have both presented different points and ideas on the significance of social media and how it has affected our world past and present. Gladwell’s essay, “Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted” is focused on the sit-in of 1960, an event started by four African American college students who went to a local diner for service, but were denied because of their race. This turned into a historic protest, stretching across the Deep South from North Carolina to as far as Texas, involving as many as 600 other protesters in a time when there was no internet or social media; not including the amount of police force and other organizations called in to try and stop the whole thing. He also feels that social media is not associated with strong activism such as this. While Dennis Baron’s story, “Reforming Egypt in 140 Characters?” is focused on the uprisings in the Middle East and how natives have organized and used social media and other lines of communication to spread their views to overthrow political powers. Although that is true he also points out that the government can manipulate the sites by putting up firewalls, and filtering the news that is spread; thus making it hard for social media to make a hug impact on revolutions that take place. Although Gladwell and Baron both address the role social media may or may not play in activism with a well-thought- out argument, I find Baron’s argument most persuasive because he presents current facts about how the Twitter Revolution was credited with fostering the ousting of former Middle Eastern presidents and the support it has provided for other protest over the last year. I am also living in a technology driven...
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