Chapter 9 talks about how small groups can use the “tools” that we have available, such as the ability to connect with one another through social media and other ways due to the technological advances, and be able to connect with people. While connecting, these small social networks form and bond together. Also, Shirky brings up the topic “Friend of a Friend(FOAF)” that makes it acceptable for people to search for friends through other friends. I believe this links to the main topic due to the fact that people are always seeking to be in a group and feel accepted. People, when they find these small networks of people, feel accepted and are able to relate to one another. Without social media and technological advances, people would not have these groups and networks they have today. The advances allow people from around the world, no matter what their interests, find people who have the similar interests as them.
The epilogue mainly discusses how fast world news can travel via things like Facebook, twitter, and different networking sites depending on the country. An main example he uses is the China earthquake in 2008 and how the the advances in social media led to many events that helped China after the quake. Shirky also talks in the epilogue about how technologies inspire us and lead to future advances. Not only these technical advances, but how these advances will effect us and our social lives in the future. Shirky finally uses an account from the movie Sicko and analyzes it with the ideas of collective action. He questions why its focused on protests and how the protests are usually negative and focused on achieving short-term goals/solutions.
After reading Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody, I believe his main argument is basically that future technology will have a huge impact on our social lives. With all his arguments, we can do many things that before we never thought was possible. Technology definitely effects our social power now as an individual. Today, you can form groups and networks from across the world. Not only groups and networks, but send out information to the world and make your news known. People are connected instantly with a click of a mouse or pressing of the “send” button. With all these advancements, Shirky believes there must be a certain element or organization kept to keep all these social technology advancements working to the best of their ability. This organization may be done through an specific system with different levels of authority or something that comes naturally with people of the same interests. Examples he used such as a women finding her phone through the ability to connect with everyone and how Wikipedia was so successful is just a look at what is coming in the future. The age we live in is something never before seen and I believe Shirky see’s a great change in power going to the individual and society changing. Our history will be based on extreme social advancement and the fact that anyone can get their arguments, ideas, and opinions. Compared to other historical events, this is the greatest advancement of media we have ever achieved. We now have the ability to be in groups and have conversations supported by our advancements in media.
The Arab Spring articles connect with Shirky because it also shows the power that social media has to effect our lives. Due to the ability to connect with people with the same ideas, groups that were anonymous were formed that conversation about what to do. Not only that, but the people are trying to get their ideas across and make change in a way where they physically don’t have to be present. With sites like Facebook and Twitter, these people make the occurrences that happen in their country know by everyone. As the government tries dictating everyone so that info does not leak out, with social media world awareness becomes present. The young bloggers had so much power that they threatened the government. None of this would have been possible without the social advances that links everyone in the world together, giving them the power of spreading news and ideas.
Morozov believes that “the current fascination with technology-driven accounts of political change in the Middle East is likely to subside, for a number of reasons.” He believes the importance of the social technological advancements will decline due to three things. First, people hit with news from social technology tend to be hit with a spontaneous event and do not understand the pattern of occurrences that led up to the event. Secondly, he believe social media is viewed as way more important than it really is. How we are attracted to these new services in social media but will drift away once we become bored of them. Finally, Morozov believes people who protest or try to get news out are just excited to share their view. Morozov’s argument is that we view technology so highly, but in a way it diminishes event importance.
This article talks about the “youth bulge” in the Middle East (55%-70% population is under 30) is why social media has such an huge political impact where they live. The demands of the group focus on freedom of speech, political participation, fix unemployment, and end corruption. These demands are not violent or the basis for a revolution, rather than young people just wanting to express themselves and achieve things that are important to any person in the 30&below age group. The internet allowed people to gather ideas and make their own ideas known. Now that anyone can have access to the internet, anyone can do this and it is almost impossible for a government to restrict anything from coming out to the public. Making the events going on known to the world, they were able to gather support from across the globe making them a huge power to be reckoned with. The advances in technology with social media also allow women in these countries to start being respected and give them the social ability as women in the US do. “modern technology and new social media has opened the door to new and creative thinking about how to assemble, organize, plan, and strategize activities ranging from political to social change that are immediately conveyed at a global level.”