The power of 140 characters


Logging on to twitter at the eve of Typhoon Gener I can’t help but be amazed at how much Bayanihan Filipinos expressed in 140 characters. Relief operations, donations, there was a lot going on to help fellow Filipinos in such a dire time. Out of the thousands, one particular tweet made me jump out of my seat and it was that of Ayala Museum – “The Filipino spirit is waterproof”.

Surely the genius behind this deserves an ovation. The statement inspired artists and bloggers to create a series of essays and features that gave rise to a nationalistic revolution that emphasized the glorious ability of Filipinos to adapt and overcome any calamity. Artworks sprang in social networking sites portraying the shape and color of the hope.

Such is the power of new media to influence, inspire and most of all encourage. Many businesses rose with the aid of social networking sites, many went bankrupt. Educational and political policies were approved and abolished, lovers fall in-love and lovers part ways in and through social media. One colossal impact of twitter was that of the people power in Egypt. Twitter paved way to unite the Egyptians in one venue, one voice and one spirit to overthrow Ghadafi – and their efforts were not in vain.

Social media is part of our everyday lives. Especially with the rise of citizen journalism, news can travel faster than sound, though we have to admit that credibility had been an issue the news organizations’ addiction to social networking sites has been proof of how crucial its role is in the media industry.

Over the internet, many are moved by podcasts, blogs and pictures of how Typhoon Gener affected Luzon. Many of which created public opinion and social movement and forced the government to do more than what is required, the social media poses one of the 21st century’s greatest lesson that is to: Never underestimate the power of 140 characters.

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