Will world peace always be a “Utopian” dream? Is open unrestricted communication, amongst different cultures and across unlimited boarders, the way to achieve world peace? Are social media platforms and services slowly paving the path to a better, more peaceful tomorrow for all?
World peace is a concept which all religions call for and yet seems to be almost unachievable taking into consideration the vast variety of global issues and world wide problems we are facing every single day at an incremental rate!
In theory, world peace is “an ideal of freedom, peace, and happiness among and within all nations and/or peoples. It is the professed ambition of many past and present world leaders.” Leaders aside, there seems to be a great power which accompanies a greater responsibility when it comes to nations and their peoples. Enter the role of social media.
Through monitoring my followers’ updates, I was quite shocked to find out that probably all of their tweets were utterly unbiased and even more so of an understanding and forgiving nature. Most of my followers actively try, continuously, to spread advice, tips and words of love, peace, awareness, motivation and unity although their ages, ethnicity, race, backgrounds, social status, traditions and country of origin may widely differ.
I was intrigued to find out more, therefore, through Twitter search, I made an effort to look for some of the global controversial topics using keyword search in efforts to see if what my followers are doing applies to every other Twitter user or not.
I searched a few hundred tweets for certain sensitive and racist keywords and our humble results were impressive:
- Even though the top 10 countries using Twitter have nothing to do with Iran or the Middle East, the topic of Iran’s Election was (and still is) one of the most trending topics on Twitter for more than 3 weeks in a row!
- Only 2 of the top ten countries on Twitter are Muslim, yet racism against Islam is merely around 1 – 2%, keeping in mind that according to Alexa’s ranking information about Twitter.com, less than 10% of the countries that access Twitter are of Muslim majority.
- Even for the word “Arab”, I noticed there is less than 1% offenses. Although a few use the word as an offense, in general, it’s used in regular context.
- In a period of seven days, there were no direct attacks or insults towards African-Americans whatsoever. The “N” word was rarely used – less than 20 occurrences in the last week amongst millions of tweets per day – and not at all in an offensive manner.
- When people are interacting behind a screen without the burden of face to face misinterpretations and biases, they have the ability to be more forgiving and tolerant.
- Based on the unobtrusive nature of social media interaction, which allows for having the freedom to choose who you communicate with, more valued opinions are shared because communication is willingly initiated, continued and ended.
- Social media is slowly changing the nature and scope to broader public participation in public related issues and concerns, eliminating the focus on the “one” and building the focus on the “many”.
- World peace and other world sustaining concepts could be easily spread and taught through social media venues such as Twitter.
- Twitter, and other social media channels, do provide a key and very immediate mechanism to get information and voices out that would otherwise never be heard.
Finally, if “hardcore rivals such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi can be social-media friends (or followers, at least)”, there must be optimism that with time, effort and people of evolving thought coming together, world peace might come true… one day.
Would you agree?