Reaction to tumult in Ukraine is affected by social media.
What’s happening in the Ukraine and Russia is making people bite their nails. Everyone is on red alert as people watch Russia flex its muscles, Ukraine struggle in confusion, and the rest of the world threaten sanctions with caution. This is a scenario that reminds a lot of people of events and times that we often try to forget including the Cold War and the start to WWII. With the news that the Crimean Parliament wants to now join Russia, people are even more confused and looking around for an answer.
There are not any perfect answers to this conflict; there seem to be down-sides to every solution, but there is hope because this tumult is different than the ones we read about in history books or the ones our grandparents tell us about. The difference is in social media. Does social media have the power to change the course of this international conflict? Not on its own, but it might have the power to open people’s eyes to the reality of what is happening in Ukraine. Many of the men and women on the ground in Ukraine have been using social media to talk about what many are calling a revolution. Ukrainians have been constantly posting to Instagram and Twitter, keeping those of us in other parts of the world updated on the happenings in Ukraine. There is even a deroagotry hashtag going around about Ukraine’s former President Yanukovych.
This digital communication has led to a mass knowledge of parts of what is happening on the other side of the world. Because of this knowledge and the fear of what could happen, many governments have been quick to act. Some might not agree with their actions, but these governments have responded in a timely manner.
All the credit does not go to social media though. Obviously, governments responded timely because they remember too well the bitter taste of past events that seem to have unending consequences. But, social media did seem to play a role in the quick spread of information, which played a role in many nations’ reaction. Does digital communication impact our lives so much now that it can help change the course of a revolution?