Tuesday, June 16

The Twitter Revolution

Iranian supporters of defeated presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi
Tehran, Iran on June 15, 2009.
Photo by Getty courtesy of The Huffington Post

I don't tweet on Twitter. Either my life is boring or I'm just not that narcissistic. You want to hear something crazy? I have never even been on Twitter. I don't know what the site even looks like. Until this week I had thrown it away as another way for us to be detracted from the true experience of our lives. Who can really communicate the depth of life in 140 characters?

The Iranians can. The supporters of defeated presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi have taken to the streets. Even as the foreign press is being systematically barred from covering the story and documenting history the protesters are still being heard. Through cyber space. All of that social networking that I admit, I had thrown away as useless garbage is changing the world. No one controls the news anymore. The victors can't rewrite history with the stroke of a pen because there are too many people out there typing and making their voices heard.

Is this leading to a whole new revolution. Most experts don't seem to think so. Then again, a lot of this reminds me of the first revolution back in the 1970s (not that I was born then, but I've read about it in books). Plan clothes paramilitaries breaking into crowds and trying to cause chaos. Revolutionary guards on motorcycles terrorizing people. Back then no one new what the revolution was turning into until it had already turned. I think we might be seeing history repeating itself. I don't think anyone really knows where this thing is leading. The people in the streets are calling for the votes to be counted, but at this point, I'm not sure this will all stop there.

Gosh I love politics.


Robin said...

You lead me to wonder the outcome of Tianamen Square if the protesters had cell phone for tweets and for pics and videos.

Anonymous said...

I think Tiananmen would have ended much in the same way. While the whole social network thing is an intriguing part of the story, I think that when historians look back, it will only be a footnote. Really what you have in Iran right now is lighting in a bottle. Revolutions have happened through out human history, its just a matter of all the right (and wrong) things happening at the exact same time in a way that people can respond to them.