I doubt there are many regular readers of this blog, but if you are one (Bless you!), you probably have noticed how eager I am to figure out the ‘formula’ for the momentum of an Internet-mediated political movement. So, when Gladwell argued in the New York Times a couple of months ago that social media won’t provide social change, which was immediately followed by various counterarguments, such as this and this, it was all very intellectually stimulating for me.
That said, I wasn’t entirely sold on any explanations offered by either side of the debate. Then, today, I found my favourite explanation. Quite serendipitously. Under the ID @actwalk, a Korean Twitter user said – and I translate:
With the diffusion of the digital, public furore develops faster but also evaporates faster. Less explosive – like a pressure cooker with many steam holes. If it were 20 years ago, a revolution would have broken out already against this oh-no-you’ve-gotta-be-kidding-me government. What a shame. (7 Dec 2010)
I have been saying myself that the false sense of triumph that online campaigns/protests often create actually hinders participants from achieving more in the offline world, but this person ‘intuitionised’ the almost same idea by likening it to a pressure cooker that doesn’t build up pressure. Loving the analogy. 😀