This past week has been a real eye opener about how important social networking has become to our society. Sure, they’re great for keeping in touch with people and letting everyone know what you’re up too…but that’s not the main reason they are so important. The main story in the news and media for a little over a week has been over the controversial Iranian election and the protests that are going on currently. The Iranian government has made it extremely difficult for any foreign media to get first hand knowledge of what is going on. I watch CNN mostly, and they have constantly been talking about how hard it has been for their journalist to get any real idea about what is going on over there.
One of the main sources of research for the media has been social networking sites…primarily Facebook and twitter. On CNN I saw them actually show a Facebook page of where they were getting some of their information. Because of twitter, they are able to know what the Iranian people are twittering about and what they are experiencing during this time. It was because of YouTube, that we were able to see the shooting of the girl “Neda”. Social networks have made it so easy to get news as it is happening, instead of after the fact.
I don’t own a TV, and so my main way of seeing what’s on the news is through my news podcasts. However, I now follow CNN on twitter and they regularly update about any breaking news. I was able to find out about the Washington Metro Crash just shortly after it happened. Also, twitter has a side bar called “trendy topics” where it shows what a lot of people on twitter are twittering about. This can be a great way to see what a lot of people in the word are dealing with right now.
My sister in law just joined Facebook for the first time…and I’m so proud of her :). I don’t understand why some people are so reluctant to join any of the social networking sites. This is such a huge part of our culture. It seems to be the best way to know what’s going on with those close to you and the world.