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Analysis of Malcom Gladwell´s Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not eBe Tweeted

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In his article “Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted”, published in the New York Times on October 2010, Malcolm Gladwell looks closely into the notion of social change and the different means to achieve it. He makes a clear distinction between traditional activism, which implies sacrifices and physical devotion, and current activism, based on social networks. The writer considers that “social media can’t provide what social change has always required” (Gladwell, paragraph 1). The virtual world has its strong points. This statement is true and undeniable. Indeed, social networks are an excellent way to connect people worldwide and let them share their thoughts and ideas. However, I cannot agree more to Gladwell’s thesis.…show more content…
Today, people seem blinded by their outsized enthusiasm for social media. According to them, a few clicks can change the whole world and accomplish wonders such as curing cancer. Good intentions become sufficient on their own, as if there were no need for medicine and scientific researches anymore. Well, this is pure nonsense. Facebook’s likes cannot save African children from starvation, the same way Twitter’s 140 characters will not put an end to acts of terrorism. This notion is not even remotely debatable. For instance, the project Kony2012 had a perfect starting point; inspiring video, moving story and most importantly worldwide spread. Unfortunately, the terrorist is still at liberty, and the lack of thorough investigations is to blame. Instead of focusing on the real problems of war and kidnapping of children, the so-called activist related to the obvious and spent all of his money and energy on his movie. Ultimately, due to the predominance of weak-ties, the project was not successful. More importantly, certain tools of social networks, especially “likes” and “retweets”, encourage people to feel good about themselves, when actually they should incite them to put their efforts and means in the cause they supposedly defend. As Gladwell wrote, “[current] activism succeeds not by motivating people to make a real sacrifice but by motivating them to do the things that
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