Real action is needed to bring about change, it doesn’t happen on Facebook and blogs. That was the message at the City Affair panel discussion on political engagement held Thursday evening. Didn’t here about it? I knew because I got invited via a Facebook event (link). I posted a pic on my personal Facebook timeline when I checked into the event as well as on UrbanReviewSTL’s Facebook page and twitter account.
Yes, being on social doesn’t create change but it does a great job of making connections. But it is true, until like-minded people get tother in the same space nothing much happens. Social media also expands the awareness of an issue, increasing the likeliness of reaching enough people to ignite action.
Earlier this week an Intercontinental hotel in Egypt tweeted when it came under attack (story). Two years ago the world watched as people toppled the government of Hosni Mubarak. Tweets by themselves aren’t going to create sustained change.
But back in St. Louis I find Twitter is the simplest way to report a problem to Citizens Service Bureau (@stlcbs). Ok, it isn’t overthrowing a 30 year dictatorship but it is a citizen getting his government to respond.
The discussion of action items after Thursday’s event is taking place on…Facebook.
– Steve Patterson