Facebook has revolutionized the way people do a multitude of things. From scheduling events, to posting pictures, to a unique and cost-efficient way for companies to interact with their target markets, Facebook has become a resource that individuals use worldwide. As a 2010 graduate of Temple University, I know that the curriculum in my Public Relations classes changed as a result of the ever-increasing demand for social media knowledge. I learned how to use Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube strategically and professionally. Then I learned from PR pros that social media was what could set young professionals apart from others generations.
What I didn’t learn in college was that Facebook was actually going to help start a revolution in countries far from Philadelphia.
In an article titled, “Why not call it a Facebook revolution?” by Chris Taylor for CNN, I read about how instrumental Facebook was in helping Egyptians to come together and start a revolution, and how Tunisians used Twitter to get people out into the streets. Even though people in those countries were using social media to organize around important issues, experts aren’t convinced that those tools played too big of a part.
"People protested and brought down governments before Facebook was invented," the New Yorker's Malcolm Gladwell opined on February 2. A few weeks later, The Financial Times' Gideon Rachman reminded us that "the French managed to storm the Bastille without the help of Twitter -- and the Bolsheviks took the Winter Palace without pausing to post photos of each other on Facebook."
These conflicting ideas got me thinking about just how many ways Facebook can be utilized. PR pros use it as a way to get their clients out into the public. Others use it as a way to keep in touch. Revolutionaries use it to organize. Where will it go next?
I find it exciting to think about how Facebook and other social media tools will be used by people around the world in the coming years. What are you going to do with it next?
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This blog post was written by Melissa Marsili. Melissa is a 2010 Temple University graduate now working in marketing at a non-profit organization in Center City, Philadelphia. As Newsletter Chair for PPRA, Melissa works to gather interesting and helpful information for the monthly newsletter. You can find Melissa on Twitter or on LinkedIn.