The advances in technology over the past decade is nothing short of amazing. From the biggest brick-like mobile phones with 10cm-tall antennas to 3.5-inch touch screens, mobile tech is the best thing to happen in a long time. As a teenager, I can’t imagine what it was like for my parents to grow up without a smartphone, dual-core PC or a PS3. I can’t live without checking Twitter daily, refreshing my e-mail every hour or even just wrapping my hand around a computer mouse. This is the digital age. I’m addicted and so are most others.
It’s not all bad. Sure, we have become less sociable and rely more on texting each other than vocally communicating, but there’s an entirely different side to technology. In particular - the Middle East.
There have been a bunch of popular videos focused on the conflicts in the Middle East. There’s a chance you may have seen them on TV, heard about them on the radio but most probably - watched them on YouTube. That’s where every viral video breaks first. Without such an ability, imagine how many people would have seen this video of a police officer kicking a Palestinian child in Hebron. Nowhere near 86,000 - that’s for sure (and that’s excluding any copycat videos).
How are these videos posted so quickly for our viewing pleasure, I hear you ask? Why that’s simple. Smartphones. They are becoming a necessity in the modern world of technology and if you want to keep up, you’re going to need one. As technology giant Apple advertises - there’s an app for everything. Including YouTube which allows us to snap a video of a tank in Iraq and upload it for millions of people to see - all in just a few minutes, wherever you are.
The next step is becoming viral. Social networks dominate the internet and will continue to do so for at least another decade. If you want to hear about something first, check Twitter or Facebook and there’s a chance that somebody has posted about it. Compared to “conventional” methods of spreading news through the TV, we can read a quick 140-character sentence within a few seconds.
What really matters is awareness. It’s all good and well to watch the video and spread it - but what effect does it have? As soon as you saw the video of that officer kicking a Palestinian child, you wanted that officer to die, die, die. The more people know about things like this, the more the government has to do to show that they care. This, of course, results in less children being kicked by stupid-ass police officers.
There are three main steps to raising awareness of all the horrible happenings in the Middle East. Upload a photo/video → spread it on social networks → take action. It applies to everything else too, from local crime to complaints about your new smartphone. Modern technology isn’t slowing down and this results in good things (for the most part).