I have been sad for many of my Venezuelan friends lately. The turmoil that is occurring in Venezuela is heartbreaking.
Living in South Florida it is not hard to be friends with or at least know a Venezuelan. My boyfriend and one-fourth of social media friends are Venezuelan.
Social Media Gives Power to the Powerless
You probably have a couple of friends that are from there and not may know it either. You have at least heard of the country Venezuela as the nation has constantly been in the news for years due to being one of the top oil producing countries in the world with a very controversial and unpopular socialist government.
However, there is also Ukraine’s dire political situation. There is also Syria and the rest of the Middle East.
As nation after nation battle for their freedom and their rights as human beings, the rest of the world watches heavy-hearted and with intentions to help but no means to do so except for spreading the word of the uprising.
However, it is different now than it was in the past when it comes to current events.
Social media has entirely changed how the world views the news and how it is reported.
The Venezuelan government has been doing its best to control media reporting by revoking press credentials and television licenses, blocking shipments of opposition newspapers, and even physically threatening reporters.
Since professional journalism has been constrained by the government, it leaves social media as the last resort.
Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter have become the media salvation for the riots allowing Venezuelans expats, its residents, and the whole world to see first-hand accounts of what is really happening there.
Even the Venezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro and the opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez are tweeting to the people and to each other, which can be seen here at The Atlantic.
According to USA Today, “More than 14 million people in Venezuela out of a total population of nearly 30 million have smart phones, allowing them instant access to news events.” This is further proof that social media has taken a lead in being an extremely powerful source for current events.
My own father, who emigrated from Lebanon in the 60’s, experienced a very different reality when Beirut became a war-zone with his family and many of his friends in the middle of it.
He told me that the only way he could hear about the wellbeing of his family, friends, and the circumstances of the civil war was through letters, visitors traveling back to the US, and through faxes.
Phone calls were difficult as phone lines were often shut down. Now, the whole world can see a civil war, a protest, and any bit of violence minute-by-minute by the people involved in these circumstances because of social media.
How can Social Media help?
Can social media take the reigns in news reporting? It has been debated that the strength of social media in news reporting is a double-edged sword.
Many times news conveyed on social media platforms can be misleading with propaganda, fake pictures, fake news and videos, which can be spread very quickly amongst users and create havoc.
As many nations across the globe battle for their rights, social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have replaced their former roles as fun-loving social networks and have become a serious platform where people can voice their opinions and educate the world on current affairs.
Social media has become one of the most important tools to spread thoughts, ideas, pictures, videos and opinions.
So whether you need to vocalize the good, the bad, or the ugly, make sure you are doing it right and take a look at our HubSpot ebook below.
Until Next Time…