Essay on Looking Into Small Change

Submitted By Jessicaaisd0pe
Words: 704
Pages: 3

It was four-thirty on a Monday on a 1960 when history changed. An important event in the civil rights movement era, a boycott, had occurred. Small Change written by Malcom Gladwell is an essay that talks about the social media revolution. Although his opinion piece included the story of the Greensboro Boycott, Gladwell did not deliver his voice well at all. Malcom discusses important topics such as hierarchy, social networks, the civil rights movement, and a cellphone being stolen, but his words did not manage to move his audience. Malcom’s voice in this essay may be too questionable for some.
What occurred on Monday, February 1, 1960 is important because it changed history forever. Ezell Blair was a regular student at University of North Carolina going about her day. She and three other students went to Woolworth’s lunch counter for food. Ezell asked the waitress for a cup of coffee, and the waitress said they did not serve Negroes there. The students did not move from that spot until five-thirty that evening. They did not back down without a fight. More and more of Ezell’s friends came to stand by her side. Pretty soon the whole town was there too. People traveled all the way across the nation just to take part in the stand. Estimates were at seventy thousand students. Next, Malcom compares social media with the civil rights movement.
“The new tools of social media have reinvented social activism. With Facebook and Twitter and the like, the traditional relationship between political authority and popular will has been upended, making it easier for the powerless to collaborate, coordinate, and give voice to their concerns.”
Malcom states how much social networks have had an impact on everyday civilian’s voices. Before, the common people did not have any say in politics and sharing their thoughts was considered forbidden. “Without Twitter the people of Iran would not have felt empowered and confident to stand up for freedom and democracy,” says Mark Pfeifle, a former national-security adviser. Stanford sociologist Doug McAdam argues that high-risk activism is a “strong-tie” phenomenon. People who take part in activism are more likely to join along if someone from their culture already partakes in it, such as the four friends in the boycott. Yet social media networks like Twitter and Facebook are built around weak ties. Do you know who all of your Facebook friends are? Exactly. Those websites are networks, a group or system of interconnected people or things. Networks differ to hierarchies, a system or organization in which people or groups are ranked one above the other according to status or authority. Back in the 1960’s, people had to follow rules and regulations that made it a hierarchy. The two are total polar opposites. Society is not accustomed to such…