The New Yorker magazine is one of my favourite magazines because it features with very strong personal opinions of the writers. However, it seems that the article “Small Change” did not quite touch the real point in terms of the relationship between media and history, and the author seems to forget to hear the voice from the other side.
I admit that Twitter, and the other social media, is not revolutionary, and is not the cause of any revolution because according to the Winston Model, every media is the reputation of history, and one can always find an “embryonic form” back in the history. There are whole bunch of works to elaborate this theory that “nothing is new under sunshine”, e.g., the Victorian Internet. Basically speaking, the media, including social media is nothing but tools. It is beneficial to the media authorities, and it can also be taken advantage of by the terrorist. If that is the reason why we cannot use it, it is very ridiculous. It is similar to the hypothesis that we cannot use forks because someone is going to kill the others with them.
However, this is not the point. The point is that the roles media played in the social movement should not be ignored. It is not the media which leads to a social movement, but that the media enabled the revolution, to some extent, or from a specific perspective. Without printing, Martin Luther would not have started the Religious Reformation; without the thriving of broadcasting industry, including TV and radio, the social movement of civil-right would not have been possible. The example the article used at the beginning is the best example to prove it. There is a “REPOTER” who is spreading the information for the four students, isn’t there?
We are not expecting that the revolution will be reported by Twitter. The fact is that it is being twittered. What makes people feel “fever” about the “revolution”, as the article mentioned, is not the media, but the revolution itself.