Social and Personal Emancipations Essay

Submitted By sanahimran
Words: 1504
Pages: 7

Social and Personal Emancipations Gladwell was pointing out, in his well-researched and inquisitive style, that networks are systems of weak ties. Hierarchies are systems of strong ones. True revolution, true activism is life-or-death for all involved, not just one imprisoned Chinese writer or Wall Street financier’s girlfriend’s cell phone. Networks are phenomenal structures for disseminating information, but inefficient at calling people to true action. Gladwell’s point was that while networks are awesome at asking people to raise their hand to say they care, they don’t have the offline, reality check of asking people to take a bullet. Khaled Hosseini uses the system of strong ties and weak ties to demonstrate the relationships formed between Mariam and Laila, and Mariam and Rasheed. Social and personal emancipations can only happen when strong ties are present.
Malcolm Gladwell starts off by telling a story about the lunch counter sit-ins which happened in Greensboro, North Carolina. A small group of college students went to a diner where they sat at the bar, which was for white people only, rather than sitting at the snack bar. The waitress refused to serve them. So in order to make a point, they continued to sit at the bar. Within just a few days, the group which had originally started out with four members, amounted to a few hundred people and then swept the south with multiple sit-ins all around the surrounding area. Gladwell later talks about how the new generation uses social media to make these points. He states that by using social media, people are making points and using acquaintances rather than close friends and therefore are using weaker social ties. “ These events in the early sixties became a civil-rights war that engulfed the South for the rest of the decade- and it happened without email, texting, Facebook or Twitter.” Armchair activism is inefficient in regards to challenging the status quo. This is the core argument of Malcolm Gladwell’s essay on social media and its effects upon society. I say that Gladwell is correct. Hosseini places these ideas into context by setting Mariam and Laila’s story during Afghanistan’s tumultuous years he illustrates the effects of strong ties in relation to the women. Both Mariam and Laila develop strong ties with each other through mutual feelings, their fight for respect from Rasheed was only possible because of the bond the women shared.
Gladwell clearly makes his point by using the “revolution” in the sixties, pointing out that there was no twitter no facebook to bring people together for a common cause. He compares it to the Iranian Revolution. He claims people misgauged the extent of the role played by social media, “‘Simply put: There was no Twitter Revolution inside Iran’”(Gladwell). Gladwell brings up the influence that twitter played on the revolution in Iran, and clarified the common misconception that social media played a script-changing role in the way the revolution played out. Armchair activism is inefficient in regards to challenging the status quo. This is the core argument of Malcolm Gladwell’s essay on social media and its effects upon society. I say that Gladwell is correct.
In his essay, "Small Changes," published in the New Yorker in October, 2010, Gladwell pushes back on the notion that social media has opened doors to new kinds of protests, and the the Internet and tools of social media have helped us to become better organizers than we've been before. “Some of this grandiosity is to be expected. Innovators tend to be solipsists. They often want to cram every stray fact and experience into their new model. As the historian Robert Darnton has written, “The marvels of communication technology in the present have produced a false consciousness about the past—even a sense that communication has no history, or had nothing of importance to consider before the days of television and the Internet.” But there is something else at work here, in the…