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The Age of Communication

posted Jan 7, 2012, 2:52 AM by Golden Knight   [ updated Jan 19, 2012, 10:02 AM ]
Posted in World

By JD Kieffer


In light of the recent evacuation of Occupy protesters from Los Angeles City Hall, it has become clear that public opinion can be a rather vague and nebulous. “We are the 99%”, the slogan of the movement, seems to be one of the few commonalities of the protestors. In general, they seek increased participation by the general populace in political and economic affairs. They have made this message abundantly clear to police, politicians, and those who they refer to as the “1%”.

The significance of this movement lies in the rapid growth it has experienced over the past two and a half months; related demonstrations have sprung up in over 83 countries! Undoubtedly, social networking plays a huge role in this growth such as IRC, Facebook, Twitter, and MeetUp. In addition to organizing protests, protestors have also used these websites to communicate and share ideas.

After the internet bubble burst at the turn of the 21st century, communication experienced a revolution, rivaling that of the impact of the telegraph and telephone. Now, in 2011, social networking continues to play an integral role in our lives. It is estimated that, by 2015, Facebook will have 800 million users; and if Facebook were to be considered a country, it would be third in the world regarding population.

Because we can count on the growth of contact between different cultures of the world, it is imperative that we begin to understand some of the similarities we, from one culture, have with others from a different culture. It is equally imperative that we discuss important conceptual issues such as our opinions on the definition of democracy. The Occupy movement claims to have taken some inspiration from the Arab Spring revolts; this is clearly evidence that regardless of geographical location, ideas and values spread quickly over the internet. In order to grasp the technology of the “Communication Age” effectively, we must recognize that the world itself is becoming a melting pot and that we all are obligated to contribute our own part to its growth.