Kunur Patel notes that the recent lack of mass protests at TSA checkpoints last week may prove that Malcolm Gladwell was right about social media’s ineffectiveness in driving social change.
Gladwell wrote last month that Twitter and similar services are all talk and no action. The author cited the Civil Rights movement as change that occurred because of a group effort, not text messaging.
Patel argues that despite the pre-holiday social media bluster surrounding the Transportation Security Administration’s enhanced passenger screening practices, no major disruptions took place. He writes that “Mr. Gladwell has one more case study to add to his artillery” against Twitter.
Increasing public awareness of important or interesting national issues used to primarily be the media’s job, but we now share that stage with everybody. And that’s the power of social media. Yes, it can be used to organize activism, but it can also be used to simply drive the debate and news coverage.