The recent uprisings in the Middle East, the latest of which appears to be bringing change to the people of Libya after four decades of leadership under strongman Muammar Gadhafi, have been a sight to see.
Not only are people worldwide seeing history unveil itself before their eyes on television and in newspapers and magazines, but also on the Internet. Whether it is in their homes, cafes, workplaces or other venues, millions and millions worldwide have used the Internet, specifically social networking, to see the changes in Egypt, Yemen and now Libya.
As of Monday (Aug. 22), Libyan rebels had still not fully gained control of Tripoli, but signs indicated they were moving closer hour by the hour.
While traditional modes of communication like television news were trying to report the goings-on on the hour, a less traditional but equally effective means of spreading the word was reaching countless individuals around the world.
Social networking sites like Twitter were quickly reporting updates from Libya via both reporters and ordinary Libyans.
With the introduction of rebel forces into Tripoli, reports are that online access was being restored to many residents who were without it over the last five months.
According to one tweet: “Welcome to all our brothers & sisters from inside Tripoli on Twitter… Internet returns to them first time in a long time! #Feb17 #Libya.”
The message on Twitter came from the National Front for the Salvation of Libya, an opposition group that has long been opposed to the regime of Gadhafi.
Internet service was, indeed, returning Aug. 22 to Tripoli and other areas of the country.
CNN reporter Matthew Chance also took to Twitter, tweeting from the Rixos Hotel where ongoing fighting continued. “On bright side, am with excellent group of journalists at #Rixos. We are feeling our way around corridors with candles. No power.”
These are but a few of the countless messages that are eking out of the country in Libya’s historic times. If it were not for social networking sites like Twitter, we would not have heard these messages.
While the big question remains what and exactly who will replace Gadhafi once he is gone for good, the power of the Internet is an amazing thing.
In the past, the impending news from the majority of wars and uprisings came to us over time via other modes of communication, sometimes taking hours or even days to reach their targets.
With the Internet accessible in this day and age to millions and millions worldwide, we get the information in mere seconds.
Yes, amazing it is, thanks in no small part to the age of social networking.
Photo credit: upstreamonline.com
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