“Small Change” written by Malcolm Gladwell illuminates the difference between “old time” communication, spread of news and information, and today’s “modern day” methods of sharing information and bringing attention to issues through the use of social sites and World Wide Web communication. Gladwell states that customary political figures are now not the only ones who can make changes in today’s issues pool. The use of social sites such as Twitter, Facebook and other cyber communicational systems has given the “little man” a voice; a way to recognize issues and step forward from the sea of simple civilians.
Gladwell starts the article by giving the example of the 1960’s sit in a Woolworths diner by four African American college students. News of their anarchy spread to neighboring states and the movement was described as a “fever”, infecting others to join the movement. Gladwell uses the example of four college students as an accustomed example of spreading news in generations before the World Wide Web’s creation. The uproar and attention the small Greensboro diner received is impressive, but communication was still limited to only the areas bordering North Carolina. The event did not reach global recognition at that time.
Gladwell’s contrasts his previous example with a story of a modern day patient, Sameer Bhatia, and the power the Internet had that won him a bone marrow transplant. Sameer Bhatia’s business partner was able to spread news of Bhatia’s need to thousands of people simply by typing up an email and sending it to hundreds of their “acquaintances”. Gladwell states that part of the beauty of the Internet and social sites is that you can stay in touch, and reach thousands of millions of people by connecting these “human cables”. Gladwell states that these acquaintances and not our friends are in fact our greatest sources of motivation for change and ideas. The Internet allows us to reach millions of “strangers” who oddly... [continues]
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